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The emperor in the constitutional debate

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Chapter Summary

The topic of Japan?s democratization?a process imposed upon imperial Japan by the United States after its defeat in the Second World War?includes an investigation of the Japanese attitudes toward the imperial institution. The constitution draft, as handed down by the government, was debated in the new House of Representatives of the Imperial Diet (which in 1947 became the National Diet) in the summer of 1946. Unlike the spectrum of ideas concerning the emperor and the imperial institution outside the Imperial Diet, in the parliamentary debate the views were less extreme. None of the political geoups in the Diet stated opposition to Hirihoto?s remaining in office, or to the continued existence of the imperial institution. In the constitutional debates in the Diet, no political group accused the emperor of war crimes and all parties accepted the conservative model of a parliamentary democracy that included the imperial institution.

Keywords: constitutional debate; Imperial Diet; imperial institution; Japan?s democratization; parliamentary democracy



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