Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Category: Japan

  • Japan’s Prosecutors Score a Big Win

    UN human rights committees and other international observers have called for major changes to Japan’s interrogation procedures for more than a decade, claiming that extended interrogations without the presence of counsel deny fundamental rights. The most commonly proposed remedy is complete recording of interrogations.

  • Is the Japanese Supreme Court spreading its wings?

    Last week, the Japanese Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for a municipal government to offer city-owned land without charge for the site of a Shinto shrine. The ruling by the top court’s Grand Bench upheld the contention of the plaintiffs that the municipal government of Sunagawa, Hokkaido had violated the constitutional requirement of a separation of church and state when it granted city land to the shrine without charge.

  • Japanese “constitutional” change

    The Democratic Party of Japan continues its efforts to transform Japanese political practice toward greater congruence with formal demands of the Constitution. Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa is plotting strategy for a major reform bill, described here, that would reduce the power of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau to appear in the Diet.

  • Guest Post: Matsudaira on Japan Election

    The Democratic Party (DPJ) of Japan, Japan’s new ruling party, has decided to abolish its policy department. In a notice given to its Diet members by Ichiro Ozawa, the party’s director general, the DPJ has prohibited its Diet members from directly proposing bills, within the exception of lawmaking regarding highly political issues, such as electoral law.

  • The Japanese Election: Much Ado About Very Little?

    It’s rare for Japanese politics to get a lot of attention in the Western media, but this was admittedly no ordinary election. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)’s trouncing of the Liberal Democratic Party on August 30 made the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and so forth.

  • More on the election campaign against conservative justices in Japan

    As promised, Colin Jones has an interesting update on the public campaign to unseat a pair of sitting Supreme Court justices in the upcoming Japanese election. Thus far, in a nutshell, a retired Supreme Court justice is calling for the election defeat of two of his former colleagues in an advertising campaign that expressly uses a U.S.

  • When Supreme Court justices attack … each other

    Imagine if Justice O’Connor were to sponsor a full-page advertisement in the New York Times calling for the impeachment of her former colleague, Justice Kennedy, because she disagrees with the positions he has taken on some issue–say, voting rights. Hard to imagine, right?

  • Constitutional implications of Japan’s upcoming election

    Japan’s Lower House elections will occur in a few days time on August 30. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has run Japan more or less continuously since its formation since 1955, is widely expected to go down to defeat. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is expected to take the lead role in a new government, probably in cooperation with coalition partners.

  • How do you say “ladies, gentlemen, and judges of the jury” in Japanese?

    For the first time in decades, as the Economist reports, Japan once again has a jury system (or, if you’re feeling saucy, a “saiban-in seido”), and it is puzzling in a variety of ways. The first puzzle has to do with its sheer existence.

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