Japan Constitution - Complete

The constitution of Japan is called Discover the principles of the Japanese Constitution in our comprehensive analysis. Explore the principles that shape Japanese democracy and their application in modern society. Click here to learn more! [日本國憲法] and was enacted on November 3, 1946 and applied on May 3, 1947. In this Article let's see all articles and information about the constitution of Japan.

The constitution guarantees a parliamentary system of Government and guarantees fundamental rights. Upon this constitution, the Emperor is the symbol of the State and the union of the people, and exercises a purely ceremonial power, without the possession of sovereignty.

The constitution of Japan, also called the Pacifist Constitution (平和憲法, Heiwa-Kenpō), she is famous for the waiver of the right to declare war present in the occupation induced by the United States after World War II.

The Preamble to the Constitution of Japan

We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet,

we determine the surety for ourselves and our posterity, the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations, and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolve never again to be visited by the horrors of war through government action; we proclaim that sovereign power resides in the people and we firmly establish this Constitution. Government is a sacred duty of the people, its authority derives from the people, its powers are exercised by the representatives of the people, and its benefits are enjoyed by the people. This is a universal principle of humanity on which this Constitution is founded. We reject and repeal all constitutions, laws, ordinances and edicts that contradict it.

We, the Japanese people, desire eternal peace and are deeply aware of the high ideals that move human relations, we are determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We wish to occupy a place of honor in an international society that fights for the preservation of peace, for the extinction of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance of the Earth at all times. We recognize that all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want. We believe that no single nation is responsible for itself, but that the laws of political morality are universal, and that obedience to these laws is incumbent on all nations that uphold their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations.

We, the Japanese people, honor our national commitment to achieving these lofty ideals and purposes with all our resources.

The Constitution of Japan - complete

I. The Emperor - Articles 1 to 8

Article 1. The Emperor should be the symbol of the State and the unity of its people, deriving his position from the will of the people in which the sovereignty of power resides.

Article 2. The imperial throne shall be dynastic and its succession shall be in accordance with the Law of the Imperial Household passed by the Diet.

Article 3. The advice and approval of the cabinet shall be required in all actions of the emperor in matters of state, and the cabinet shall be responsible for them.

Article 4. The Emperor shall perform only those acts of State matter as provided for in the Constitution and he shall not have powers relating to the Government.
The Emperor must delegate the execution of his acts in matters of State as provided for by law.

Article 5. When, in accordance with the Law of the Imperial Household, a Regency is established, the Regent shall carry out his acts in matters of State on behalf of the Emperor. In this case, paragraph one of the Previous article will apply.

Article 6. The Emperor must appoint the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet.
The Emperor shall appoint the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet.

Article 7. The Emperor, under the advice and approval of the Cabinet, shall perform the following acts in matters of State on behalf of the people:

  • Enactment of constitutional amendments, laws, cabinet orders and treaties;
  • Diet Convocation;
  • Dissolution of the House of Representatives;
  • Proclamation of general elections for members of the Diet;
  • Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as established by law, the appointment and accreditation of ambassadors and ministers;
  • Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, extension and restoration of rights;
  • Granting of honors;
  • Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as required by law;
  • Reception of foreign ambassadors and ministers;
  • Execution of ceremonial functions;

Article 8. No property may be bestowed or received from the Imperial Household nor gifts may be exchanged without the Diet's authorization.

II. Waiver of War - Article 9

Article 9. Sincerely aspiring to world peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce the use of war as the sovereign right of the nation or the threat and use of force as a means of settling international disputes.

In order to fulfill the objective of the previous paragraph, the army forces, navy and aeronautics, like any other potential war force, will never be maintained. The State's right to belligerence will not be recognized. 

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III. People's Rights and Duties - Articles 10 to 40

Article 10. The conditions necessary to be a Japanese citizen shall be determined by law.

Article 11. The people will not be deprived of any fundamental human rights. These fundamental human rights are guaranteed to the people through this Constitution and shall be available to this generation and future generations as eternal and inviolable rights.

Article 12. The rights and liberties guaranteed to the people through this Constitution shall be maintained by the constant effort of the people, who shall refute any abuse of liberties and rights, and shall always be responsible for utilizing them for the common public welfare.

Article 13. All people must be respected as individuals. The right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, as long as it does not interfere with the common public welfare, will be of paramount consideration in legislation and other governmental bodies.

Article 14. All persons are equal before the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic and social relations because of race, creed, gender, social position or family origin.
Nobles and nobility will not be recognized.
No privileges, honorary decorations or distinctions shall be bestowed on individuals who possess this status during their lifetimes.

Article 15. The people have the inalienable right to choose their public representatives and also to dismiss them.
All public representatives are servants of the entire community and no other specific group.

Adult and universal suffrage is guaranteed in the elections of public representatives.
In all elections, secrecy in voting will not be violated. A voter shall not be questioned publicly or privately at his option in the election.

Article 16. All persons shall have the right to peacefully petition for the reparation of damages, petition for the removal of public servants, the enactment and repeal of amendments to laws, ordinances or regulations, and for other matters; no person shall be discriminated against for supporting any petition.

Article 17. All persons may seek redress in accordance with the law of the State or public entity, in case they have suffered damage due to an illegal act of any public servant.

Article 18. No person shall be held in any kind of captivity. Involuntary service, except as punishment for crimes, is prohibited.

Article 19. Freedom of thought and conscience must not be violated.

Article 20. Religious freedom is guaranteed to everyone. No religious organization shall receive any privilege from the State or exercise any political authority.
No person shall be obligated to join in any religious act, celebration, ritual or practice.
The State and its bodies shall abstain from any religious education or any religious activity.

Article 21. Freedom of assembly, association and speech, press and other forms of expression are guaranteed.
No censorship shall be maintained and freedom of communication shall not be violated.

Article 22. Each person shall be free to choose and change his residence and to choose his occupation as long as it does not interfere with the public welfare.
The freedom of all people to change their country and nationality will not be violated.

Article 23. Academic freedom is guaranteed.

Article 24. The wedding it must be based solely on the consensual union of both sexes and must be maintained in common agreement and with equal rights between men and women.
Regarding the choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of home, divorce and other matters concerning marriage and the family, laws must be enacted from the point of view of individual dignity and essential gender equity. 

Article 25. All persons shall have the right to maintain a minimum standard of health and cultural well-being.
In all spheres of life, the State must make efforts to promote and extend social life, security and public health.

Article 26. All persons shall have the right to receive an equal education corresponding to their ability, as provided by law.
All persons shall provide education to boys and girls under their protection without distinction as provided by law. Such compulsory education shall be free.

Article 27. All persons shall have the right and the obligation to work.
The standard of wages, hours, rest and other working conditions shall be determined by law.
Children must not be exploited.

Article 28. The right of workers to organize and bargain and act collectively is guaranteed.

Article 29. The right to own or acquire property is inviolable.
Property rights shall be defined by law in accordance with the public welfare.
Private property may be used by public authorities as long as there is fair compensation.

Article 30. Persons will be subject to payment of fees as provided by law.

Article 31. No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor any criminal penalty shall be imposed, except in accordance with the procedures established by law.

Article 32. No person will be prevented from having access to trial.

Article 33. No person shall be arrested except by a warrant issued by a bailiff specifying the offense the person is accused of, unless he is arrested while the offense is being committed.

Article 34. No person shall be arrested or detained without having been previously informed of the offenses for which he is being accused or without the right to be tried; nor shall he be detained without proper cause; and on the demand of any person such charge shall be immediately brought before the court or council.

Article 35. The right of all persons to be safe in their homes shall not be violated, except by means of a warrant issued for a justified cause and which specifically describes the place and objects to be seized, or as provided for in Article 33.
Each search or seizure must be carried out under a separate mandate issued by a competent judicial authority.

Article 36. Punishment with torture by any public official or cruel treatment is absolutely prohibited.

Article 37. In all criminal cases the accused shall enjoy the right to a public trial which is expeditiously established and composed by an impartial tribunal.
The accused will be granted the right to examine all witnesses and will have the right to a compulsory process of obtaining witnesses in his defense and paid for by the government.
At all times the accused shall have the assistance of a competent council which shall, if the accused is unable to secure it on account of his condition, be assigned to the State.

Article 38. No person shall be compelled to bring evidence against himself.
Confessions made under duress, torture or threat, or after prolonged imprisonment or detention will not be accepted as evidence.
No person will be convicted or punished in cases where the only evidence against him is his own confession.

Article 39. No person may be held criminally responsible for an act that was lawful at the time it was committed, or for which it was acquitted, nor shall he be subjected to a second penalty.

Article 40. Any person, if acquitted after being arrested or detained, may sue the State with a request for redress in accordance with the law.

IV. The diet - Articles 41 to 64

Article 41. The Diet will be the highest organ of state power, and it will be the only legislative organ of the state.

Article 42. The Diet will consist of two Houses, called the House of Representatives and the House of Counsellors.

Article 43. Both Houses shall consist of elected members and representatives of the people.
The number of members of each House shall be fixed by law.

Article 44. The qualifications of the members of both Houses and their electors shall be fixed by law. However, there will be no discrimination due to race, creed, gender, social status, family origin, education, property or income.

Article 45. The term of office of members of the House of Representatives shall be four years. However, the term will end sooner than expected if the House of Representatives is dissolved.

Article 46. The term of office of the members of the Casa dos Conselheiros shall be six years, and a new election for half of the vacancies shall take place every three years.

Article 47. The electoral districts, the method of voting and other matters concerning the manner of voting of the members of both Houses shall be fixed by law.

Article 48. No person may be a member of both Houses at the same time.

Article 49. Members of both Houses shall receive from the National Treasury the annual payment in accordance with the law.

Article 50. Except in cases provided for by law, members of both Houses may not be arrested while the Diet is in session, and any member arrested before the session begins shall be released during the session and will be at the demand of the House.

Article 51. Members of both Houses shall not be held responsible outside the House for speeches, debates or votes held within the House.

Article 52. An ordinary session of the Diet will be convened once a year.

Article 53. The cabinet may determine to convene extraordinary sessions of the Diet. When a quarter or more of the total membership of both Houses has made the request, the Cabinet shall rule on such a summons.

Article 54. When the House of Representatives is dissolved, a general election of members of the House of Representatives shall take place not later than forty days from the date of dissolution, and the Diet shall be convened within thirty days from the date of the election.
When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the House of Councilors will be closed immediately. However, the cabinet may, in the event of a national emergency, convene the Casa dos Conselheiros for an emergency session.
Measures taken at such a session, as referred to in the clause of the preceding paragraph, shall be provisional and shall become null and void unless approved by the House of Representatives within ten days of the opening of the next session of the Diet. .

Article 55. Each House shall judge cases relating to its members. However, for the purpose of denying privilege to any member, approval by two-thirds or more of the members present is required.

Article 56. Business matters cannot be dealt with in either House unless one-third or more of the total membership is present.
All matters shall be decided in each House by a majority of those present, except where provided for in the Constitution and, in the event of a tie, the President of the session shall decide the matter.

Article 57. The deliberation in each House shall be public. However, a secret meeting may take place when more than two-thirds of the members present approve the resolution.
Each House shall keep a record of proceedings. This record must be published and distributed for general circulation, except when the procedures for confidential meetings are included, which require a confidential nature.
Upon the demand of one-fifth or more of the members present, the votes of the members on any matter shall be recorded in minutes.

Article 58. Each House must choose its own members and presidents.
Each House shall establish its bylaws with respect to meetings, procedures and internal discipline, and may punish members of misconduct. However, for a member to be excluded, two-thirds or more of the members present must pass the resolution.

Article 59. A bill becomes law after approval in both Houses, except as provided for in the Constitution.

A bill that has been passed in the House of Representatives and rejected in the House of Councilors will become law after being passed a second time in the House of Representatives by more than two-thirds of the members present.

The provision in the preceding paragraph does not preclude the House of Representatives from convening a joint meeting of the committee of both Houses, in accordance with the law.

The bill that is not judged in the House of Councilors sixty days after being approved by the House of Representatives, including the recess period, will be considered as rejected by the House of Councilors.

Article 60. The budget must first be submitted to the House of Representatives.

With regard to the budget, when the House of Counselors takes a decision contrary to that of the House of Representatives, and when there is no agreement even after the meeting of the committee of both Houses, provided for by law, or when the House of Counselors does not judge the budget in within thirty days, including the recess period, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be deemed to be the decision of the Diet.

Article 61. The second paragraph of Previous article also applies to cases where the Diet requires approval of the conclusion of treaties.

Article 62. Each House may conduct government-related investigations, and may require witness testimony and the production of recordings.

Article 63. The prime minister and other ministers of state may, at any time, appear in any of the Houses for the purpose of speaking on the bills, regardless of whether they are members of the House or not. They must also attend for the purpose of answering questions or giving explanations.

Article 64. The Diet shall establish an impeachment court between the members of both Houses for the purpose of trying those who are being questioned.
Matters related to impeachment shall be provided for by law.

V. The Cabinet - Articles 65 to 75

Article 65. Executive power will be vested in the cabinet.

Article 66. The cabinet shall consist of the prime minister, who will be its leader, and the other ministers of state, as provided by law.
The prime minister and other ministers of state must be civilian citizens.
The Cabinet, exercising executive power, shall be collectively responsible for the Diet.

Article 67. The Prime Minister shall be appointed from among the members of the Diet and by a resolution of the Diet. This designation shall precede all other matters.
If the House of Representatives and the House of Counselors do not reach an agreement and if there is no agreement even after a meeting of the committee between both Houses as provided by law, or the House of Counselors does not decide the matter within ten days, including the recess period, after appointment by the House of Representatives, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the Diet.

Article 68. The prime minister should appoint the ministers of state. However, most of them must be chosen from among the members of the Diet.
The Prime Minister may dismiss the Ministers of State as per his decision.

Article 69. If the House of Representatives passes a non-trust resolution or rejects a trust resolution, the cabinet must resign en masse, unless the House of Representatives is dissolved within ten days at the most.

Article 70. When there is a vacancy in the post of Prime Minister, or upon the first convocation of the Diet after the general election of the members of the House of Representatives, the Cabinet shall resign en masse.

Article 71. In the cases mentioned in the two previous articles, the cabinet must continue its functions until the period in which the prime minister is chosen.

Article 72. The prime minister, representing the cabinet, submits bills, reports general matters of national interest and foreign affairs to the Diet, and exercises supervisory control over various administrative branches.

Article 73. The Cabinet, in addition to its administrative functions, shall perform the following functions:

  • Faithfully administer the law; conduct the affairs of state;
  • Administer foreign relations matters;
  • Complete treaties. However, it must, depending on the circumstances, obtain first or subsequent approval from the Diet.
  • Administer the civil service, in accordance with the standards established by law;
  • Prepare the budget and present it to the Diet;
  • Enact cabinet orders for the purpose of executing the provisions of the Constitution and the law. However, you may not include criminal provisions in the Cabinet if they are not provided for by that law;
  • Decide on general amnesty, special amnesty, commutation of punishment, postponement and restoration of rights;

Article 74. All laws and cabinet orders must be signed by the competent minister of state and also signed by the prime minister.

Article 75. Ministers of State, during the exercise of their positions, shall not be subject to legal action without the consent of the Prime Minister. However, the right to take such action shall not be impeded by this means.

SAW. The Judiciary - Articles 76 to 82

Article 76. All judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court and lower courts as established by law.
No extraordinary tribunal shall be established, nor shall any other body or agency of the executive have final judicial power.

All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by the Constitution and the laws.

Article 77. The Supreme Court is invested with the legislative power under which it determines the rules of procedure and practices, matters related to the practice of law, the internal discipline of the courts and the administration of judicial affairs.

Public prosecutors shall be subject to the legislative power of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court can delegate the power to legislate to lower courts.

Article 78. Judges shall not be removed from office except through public impeachment or if they are judicially declared to have physical or mental problems that prevent them from exercising their official functions.

No disciplinary action against judges shall be administered by any executive branch or agency.

Article 79. The Supreme Court shall consist of the presiding judge and such other judges as may be determined by law; all such judges, except the presiding judge, shall be appointed by the cabinet.

The appointment of Supreme Court justices must be approved by the people through a general election held by members of the House of Representatives immediately following the appointment, and another must take place at the first election of members of the House of Representatives after ten years, and so on. .

In the cases mentioned in the previous paragraph, when the majority of votes are for the removal of a judge, then he must be dismissed.

Matters concerning elections shall be prescribed by law.
Supreme Court justices must retire after reaching the age determined by law.
All such judges shall receive, at regular intervals, adequate compensation, which shall not be reduced during their term of office.

Article 80. Lower court judges shall be appointed by the Cabinet from a list of persons appointed by the Supreme Court. All judges shall hold office for a period of ten years with the right to extension of office, provided that they are retired after reaching the age determined by law.

Judges of lower courts shall receive, at regular intervals, adequate compensation which shall not be reduced during their term of office.

Article 81. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort with the power to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation or official act.

Article 82. When a court unanimously determines that a matter is a violation of public order, the trial may be in secret, but cases of political offense, offenses involving the press, or cases where the rights of persons as guaranteed by Chapter III of this Constitution , are in question, then these cases should be judged publicly.

VII. Finance - Articles 83 to 91

Article 83. The power to administer national finances shall be exercised as determined by the Diet.

Article 84. No new fees shall be imposed or changed except by law or under such conditions as prescribed by law.

Article 85. No monies shall be expended, nor shall the State undertake, except with the authorization of the Diet.

Article 86. The Cabinet shall prepare and submit the budget to the Diet for its consideration and final decision each fiscal year.

Article 87. In order to guard against unforeseen budget shortfalls, a reserve fund must be authorized by the Diet for use under the responsibility of the Cabinet.
The cabinet must obtain subsequent approval from the Diet to make any payments from the reserve fund.

Article 88. All the goods of the Imperial House will belong to the State. All expenses of the Imperial House must be provided for in the annual budget approved by the Diet.

Article 89. No public property or funds shall be expended or appropriated for the use, benefit or maintenance of any religious institution or association, or any charitable or educational institution which is not under the control of public authority.

Article 90. The State expenditure and revenue report shall be audited annually by the Board of Audit and submitted by the Cabinet to the Diet, together with an audit statement, during the immediate fiscal year following the period covered.
The organization and competence of the Audit Board shall be determined by law.

Article 91. At regular intervals, and at least annually, the Cabinet shall report to the Diet and officials in charge of national finance.

VIII. Local Government - Articles 92 to 95

Article 92. Regulations concerning the organization and operations of local public entities shall be established by law in accordance with the principle of local autonomy.

Article 93. Local public entities shall establish assemblies as their deliberative bodies, in accordance with the law.
The chief executives of local public entities, the members of their assemblies, and all other officials provided for by law, shall be elected by popular vote in their respective communities.

Article 94. Local public entities shall have the right to govern their assets, administer and enact their own regulations in accordance with the law.

Article 95. A special law, applicable only to a single public entity, cannot be passed by the Diet without the consent of a majority vote of the local public entity in question, and in accordance with the law.

IX. amendments - Article 96

Article 96. Constitutional amendments must be proposed by the Diet, through the approval of more than two-thirds of the members of each House, and then submitted for ratification, which requires a majority of all votes in a referendum or election to be convened by the Diet.

Amendments, when ratified, shall be immediately promulgated by the Emperor and in the name of the people, as an integral part of the Constitution.

X. Supreme Law - Articles 97 to 99

Article 97. The fundamental human rights of this Constitution were guaranteed to the Japanese people as a result of the ancient human effort for freedom; these rights have survived countless tests that required durability and have been bestowed on this and future generations with the confidence of being eternally inviolable.

Article 98. This Constitution shall be the Supreme Law of the nation, and no law, order, imperial statute, or any other governmental act contrary thereto, shall have validity or legal force.
Treaties concluded by Japan and established laws of nations shall be faithfully observed.

Article 99. The Emperor or Regent, as well as ministers of state, members of the Diet, judges, and all other public servants are under an obligation to respect and uphold this Constitution.

XI. Additional Provisions - Articles 100 to 103

Article 100. This Constitution shall be applied after six months have elapsed from the date of its promulgation.
The amendments of laws necessary for the application of this Constitution, the election of the members of the House of Councilors and the procedure for convoking the Diet and other preparatory procedures for the application of this Constitution shall be carried out before the date prescribed in the preceding paragraph.

Article 101. If the House of Councilors is not constituted prior to the effective date of this Constitution, the House of Representatives shall function as the Diet until such time as the House of Councilors is constituted.

Article 102. The term of office of half of the members of the Casa dos Conselheiros serving their first term under this Constitution shall be three years. Members who fall into this category will be determined in accordance with the law.

Article 103. Ministers of State, members of the Houses of Representatives, judges active on the date of promulgation of this Constitution, and all public servants, who occupy positions corresponding to those recognized by this Constitution, shall not automatically lose their positions on account of the application of this Constitution unless specified by law. The moment successors are elected under the provisions of this Constitution, they shall fulfill their terms of office as provided by law.

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