An anachronism

Our LDP has published a plan for revised constitution. I was surprised to read it over last night. That plan deletes the article of the fundamental human right from the present constitution. It adds a new artilce that the people should obey the constitution, which is not in the present constitution. This is actually against the philosophy of modern constitution that the constitution is to prevent the power of the nation from violating human rights of the people.

This is a terrible anachronism. We have been betrayed by the politicians for recent years. Some of us are apt to have extreme ideas of politics now. One of the extremitism is for the changeover back to the era before WWII. I am sure this revision reflects that movement.

I know a nation needs a kind of religion or a religious idea where the people is united. We could never as well as should never return to the era of Emperor and the military dictation before WWII. LDP seems to aim at the nation which centers Emperor. Emperor centered nation, which worked as a kind of religion, has treated the people as slaves. It has also victimized the peoples in the neighbor countries. Haven't we founded our nation with regret for that history at the end of WWII?

The present problems we are facing to won't be solved by such an easy anachronism. I feel almost angry at those politicians who neglect the value of fundamental human rights which the people one or two generation(s) prior to us have achieved with sweat and blood.


  1. Shin,
    We are having a similar problem here. Our original Constitution was founded on the principle that the people derived their rights not from men (i.e. government) but rather from God. Our Constitution is a document constructed to protect people from the potentially awesome power inherently found in the state. Sovereign power is to reside with the people. There has always been a tension between what our courts call “overriding government interest” and the rights of the individual and group associations. We have a three branch system of government, executive, legislative and judicial. Our founders designed that system of checks and balances to prevent the power of the state from usurping individual rights. In very simplified terms, if the executive attempted to gain too much power, the legislature made laws, approved of certain executive appointments, controlled the finances and could curtail the actions of the executive. The judicial was there to rule as to whether a law, regulation or action was within the bounds of the Constitution. (It is my understanding that the Constitution of Japan is very much based on the same principles.)
    Beginning in the 1930’s, the “overriding government interest” crowd accelerated their concentration of central power over the individuals and individual states. (See the events surrounding the court-packing attempts by Franklin Roosevelt and the sharp change in U.S. Supreme Court decisions). For a particularly sad example of state power over the individual and so-called “overriding government interest”, see Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944), whereby loyal United States Citizens where detained in concentration camps simply because they looked like an enemy of the United States. In that case, no evidence, whatsoever, was presented that might show that the incarcerated individuals ever committed a crime or posed a threat to the security of the country. Quite to the contrary, many incarcerated individuals volunteered for combat duty and distinguished themselves. (See the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service, in the entire history of the U.S. Military).
    The trend in the United States of the state over the individual has continued almost unabated since then. We have recently taken to consolidating central power in Marxist fashion. Our Tenth Amendment ostensibly insures that all power not specifically granted to the central government shall be maintained within the individual states. Today, the Tenth Amendment is nothing more than a quaint reminder of the system of government we used to be. There are very many recent examples of individual and states’ rights being subjugated to the central government. Our government is enforcing laws selectively. It ignores those laws that do not help it achieve its political aims, and interprets other laws for use to suppress those it does not like. For now, at least, we still have a First Amendment right to speak about such abuses. I have fears that my children and grandchildren may not retain that right.



    1. Taylor,

      Thanks for the interesting comment. It surprises me there are such conflicts going on between the federal government and the states/the individuals in the US. Those in the fed. government must have attempt to override the rights of the former.

      The modern constitution, so far as I understand, is based on the idea that the nation should never violate the people's rights. It insures the rights against the power of the nation. LDP in Japan says that the western individualism based on the fundamental human right won't fit in our country with a particular history and culture different from the western countries. I am strongly against this anachronism. The idea of the modern constitution is quite universal and irreplaceable whereever it might be promulgated. Those with the power in the government must be always tempted to override our rights. We must go on fighting against such movements, I believe.

      We, japanese, have never experienced the citizon's revolution in the history. That may be why some parties neglect the value of the philosophy for the modern constitution.

      I guess you meant the japanese US citizons incarcerated during the WWII. I am impressed to know you take it as one of the forerunners of the issue in the history of the US.

      Thanks again for your thoughtful comment.


  2. Shin,

    My QSO comments about the British monarchy were tongue-in-cheek. Obviously you have more serious concerns.

    I subscribe to the weekly Economist. It gets delivered to my house every Friday. I am old-fashioned and like to read a real newspaper. This week's issue has a piece on the upcoming Japanese election. You can read it on line here


    There is no mention of an LDP return to imperialist roots, which makes me think that the western press is not always fully aware of what is going on in Japan. I think that part of the reason for this is the chaotic nature of Japanese politics, with prime ministers changing so often. Since Mr Koizumi, there has been a bewildering succession of prime ministers.

    The one thing the Economist does note is that the LDP proposes scrapping the pacifist manifesto, which could be worrying. It seems to this reader that this is a knee-jerk reaction to the rise of China, and strikes me as an appeal to populist and nationalistic sentiments.

    Let us hope that it does not happen.


    1. John,

      Yes, LDP plans to give sovereignty to the Emperor while abolishing the fundamental human rights in the people. They would establish the imperialism hierarchy in Japan. This intention of radical change is hidden by the superficial issues like TPP, energy issue or sales tax etc. The result may be "throwing out the pacifism in the present constitution". They seem to have forgotten how much blood and sweat were shed to obtain the pacifism.

      It seems we are in a big turning point of the country at present. I worry seriously about that for children and the generations forthcoming.

      It is a cynicism that those who would suffer most from this change are supporting it. The same party may approve the globalism and neoliberalistic economy, which hurt them most as well.

      I surely hope they will be aware of this change going on and oppose it.

      I will read that article in Economist later. Thanks for the info.


  3. Taylor

    Your comment was 100% right on.