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Rejection Of War: Japan’s Constitutional Discourse And Performance

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Chapter Summary

Of all the great-power signatories of Paris Peace Pact of 1928, Japan since 1945 has pursued most impressively its peaceful spirit in law and policy. For over fifty years commitments to international peace, human rights, and popular sovereignty, not so much the Emperor system, have been central to Japan's constitutionalism. Article 9's rejection of war and of force to settle international disputes continues in effect. The 1947 Constitution of Japan is one of the world's oldest and most effectively implemented basic laws, but as in all constitutional democracies, political culture generates imperfect compliance with constitutional demands. Since 1946 Japan has enjoyed an unbroken succession of national and local elections under democratic law. Since 1990s, an on-going legal reform process has attacked stubborn problems of malapportionment and excesses in political fund-raising which have reduced occasional corruption, but campaign finance is less of a problem for democracy than in the United States.

Keywords: constitutional democracies; international disputes; international peace; Japan; legal reform process; political culture; rejection of war



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