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Constitutional Revolution In Japanese Law, Society And Politics

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Chapter Summary

Modern Japan has experienced two constitutional revolutions, one from the latter half of the nineteenth century until 1945, and the other since 1945. By "constitutional revolution" is meant a long process in which a fundamental shift takes place in constitutional values diffused throughout society by means of law, administrative actions, judicial decisions, and education, both formal and informal. The two modern constitutional revolutions were not precipitated by the maturing of internal forces over a long period. They were assimilative reactions to Western legal traditions. As a result, contemporary Japanese law blends traditional elements with European civil law and legal theory, and Anglo-American common law traditions. This chapter offers some data and reflections on prewar and present Japanese constitutionalism and the revision debate; legal culture, embracing the legal system and values, as related to such issues as freedom of expression; and some pending problems in Japanese constitutional law.

Keywords: constitutional revolution; European civil law; freedom of expression; Japanese constitutionalism; Japanese law; judicial decisions; western legal traditions



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