Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has been in office a few short months, but has become a media sensation in Japan for various audacious statements, including criticism of Article 9 of the Constitution. Last month he issued an order that all Osaka City employees participate in a mandatory survey that includes disclosure of political and union activities. Larry Repeta of Meiji University has written an excellent analysis of the constitutionality of this order here: (“Mr. Hashimoto Attacks the Constitution”). He notes that Hashimoto’s order implicates Article 19 on freedom of thought and conscience, Article 21 on freedom of speech and association, and Article 28 which guarantees the right to organize. (For those interested in more on Hashimoto, Larry suggests Eric Johnston’s overview of recent developments here.
Comments on this item are most welcome, in particular whether on the issue of whather such a survey would survive constitutional scrutiny in other jurisdictions.