StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Japan Constitution - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Japan Constitution

The Meiji Restoration heralded the rise of Japan as an industrial and military power. The oligarchy consolidated itself under the leadership of the Emperor, and made an effort to destroy remaining vestiges of samurai and shogun power. Lands were sought to be restored to the Emperor. The Samurai's privilege to bear arms was diluted by extending this to the peasants, as well, and conscription into the army of a male member from each family in the country also came into effect. The samurai was disgruntled with what it saw as a clipping of its wings. But along with that, they also moved into other areas, seeking employment in the government, and became a new elite in Japan.
It was against the above backdrop that a constitution was promulgated in Japan, and came into effect in 1889. This Constitution enshrined the Emperor as the supreme political head, who shared power with an elected Diet or parliament. The Meiji Constitution continued till Japan was defeated in the Second World War, after which a new constitution came into effect. The Meiji Constitution marks the first time that Japan has had a written constitution. In actual practice since the emperor's powers had been curtailed, prior to the Meiji Restoration Japan was only a de jure monarchy, the actual powers often having been exercised either by an oligarchy or by the Samurai from time to time.
To draft the Meiji Constitution Japan studied those of the US, Britain, Spain, France and Prussia. The Meiji constitution seems to have been considerably influenced by the Prussian one. It has seven chapters, consisting of seventy-six articles. It also has a Preamble, an Imperial Oath Sworn in the Sanctuary in the Imperial Palace, and an Imperial Rescript on the Promulgation of the Constitution. All told, it is a document of less than 4000 words. The seven chapters headings are:
1-The Emperor; 2- The Rights and Duties of Subjects; 3-The Imperial Diet; 4-The Ministers of State and the Privy Council; 5- The Judicature; 6- Finance; and 7- The Supplementary Rules. (The Meiji Constitution)
There are portions in this Constitution, that are worded ambiguously, and it was left to the political leaders and parties of the time to interpret it either as supportive of the monarch, or as a document that established a liberal democratic system. This Constitution rests on the basic premise that the Emperor's ancestry is divine, and therin lies his legitimacy. He thus combines in his person, the powers of the legislature, executive as well as the judiciary:
"Article 3. The Emperor is sacred and inviolable." (The Meiji Constitution)
But Article 4 states that, "The Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in Himself the rights of sovereignty, and exercises them, according to the provisions of the present Constitution." (The Meiji Constitution)
A subsequent article (55) however stated that the Emperor's powers were subject to ratification by a Minister of State, whose appointment was strangely in the hands of the monarch himself.
The duties and rights of the people were spelt out by the Constitution. A subject had the duty of protecting the Constitution. (Preamble) He also had to serve in the army, if called upon to do so. (Article 20) He enjoyed certain rights, provided these did not come in ...Show more

Summary

The Tokugawa Shogunate (1603- 1868) was a feudally structured military dictatorship that ruled Japan for a little over 350 years. This dictatorship was established by Tokugawa Leyasu, a shogun (a shogun was the supreme commander of the 'Samurai'; samurai refers to a soldier or the warrior class)…
Author : bryana68
Japan Constitution essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Japan Constitution"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

American Occupation in Japan
It is imperative to state that this occupation granted the foundation for the emergence of one of the strongest nations seemingly by laying the groundwork for democracy and triumphant capitalism (Tsutsui, 266). The intention of this occupation was to inculcate democratic values and eliminate imperialist customs.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Employment Law in Japan

The author states that employment law entails administrative rules, legislation, statutes, and common law rulings that make up the interpretation and practice of employment. It covers issues such as employment compensation, workplace standards and safety, employee benefits, employment discrimination, and pensions and retirement among others.

4 pages (1000 words) Essay
China and Japan
Chinese culture is one of the world’s oldest and most complex civilizations covering a history of over 5,000 years - the connected split between Old and New. Chinese Culture can be divided into: Traditional & Modern Culture. Chinese Culture is changing continually.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Modern Japan
In view of the effort of the Japanese to consent a peek into their culture developed and gave birth to Japanese business novels. These materials are provided usually to business students for wider understanding of the Japanese business approach. The Japanese business novels were the perfect tool to open an understanding of how Japanese business operated.
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Japan U.S. relation
Military dominance over politics was prevalent and all these emperors were the supreme commanders of troops in Japan. In 1603, Ieyasu was chosen shgun ("Commander of the Armies"). He established the Tokugawa shogunate. The Tokugawa shogunate enacted a range of measures to direct the autonomous daimyo.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Foreign Policies Japan
We firstly, look at Japan as an economic giant and the genesis of it. Next we look at the foreign policies adopted by Japan and check if an investment climate exists in Japan. Under the current scenario, a lot of global economies are opening up and the impact it has on the US investment in Japan under the aegis of US - Japan Investment Initiative, 2001.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
The Seventeen-Article Constitution
Shotoku borrowed concepts from Confucianism and Buddhism and adapted them to the Japanese culture in writing the constitution. Even though this constitution was not promulgated as a law as we understand today, it did set the
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Modern Japan and Meiji Restoration
The samurai class took themselves ethnocentric thus culminating the public with the ethnocentrism idea. Japan people were very pessimistic and they did not expect much from the Meiji regime. The Meiji Restoration had a huge responsibility of
2 pages (500 words) Essay
How China and Japan reacted to the war on terror
Tokyo’s population has been wondering whether a prolonged war on terrorism might obligate the prime minister to utilize his political capital to take part in the coalition to fight terrorism, thus leaving limited resources to address the nation’s economic issues. Recently, scholars at a seminar considered newer roles for four nations: the US, Japan, Russia and China, with all of them contributing through military and politically towards the war on terror (Borgu, 2004, p. 52).
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
Japan
In early twentieth century, Meiji died and left Japan with highly educated people and well-developed communication and transport networks. In an attempt to bring together the country and respond to the challenges posed
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation