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Freedom Of Expression: The Continuing Revolution

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Chapter Summary

Why freedom of expression is relatively strong in Japan or any country cannot be ascertained simply by looking at laws, constitutional provisions, and judicial decisions. The reasons and reality are most effectively unearthed by empirically well-founded, ecological analysis of factors such as social culture, institutions of government and law, economic conditions, political value commitments, and historical serendipity. Freedom of expression exists because the balance of competitive sociopolitical forces favors expression rather than repressed silence on subject, at least for the moment. The test of freedom is whether citizens actually have option of expressing themselves peacefully or remaining silent about a subject without negative social, legal, or economic consequences. This chapter sets forth relevant constitutional provisions and touches on institutional and social context of freedom of expression in Japan. It then surveys judicial holdings on freedom of assembly and association, the expression rights of workers, and the freedom of mass media.

Keywords: constitutional provisions; freedom of expression; freedom of mass media; Japan; judicial decisions



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