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Social Patterns And Freedom Of Expression

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Chapter Summary

During Japan's current constitutional revolution of freedom, aspects of social structure and social value affect and are affected by the legally protected right to expression. Social rules condition unofficial and official status of freedom of expression and ways in which individual expression is encouraged and discouraged. This chapter provides a suggestive analysis of some social tendencies that seem particularly relevant to an understanding of freedom of expression in Japan. The Japanese are in some ways pluralistic, with much variety in their political viewpoints, interests and beliefs; but compared to most other nations, they are quite homogeneous. Many Japanese and some other observers have claimed that Japanese society is "unique" and peculiarly difficult for foreigners to understand. The intent is neither to condemn nor to praise Japanese patterns. Depending on which aspect of nation's culture or legal doctrine one stresses, one may see Japan as somewhat oppressive or supportive of freedom.

Keywords: constitutional revolution; freedom of expression; Japan; social structure; social value



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