The draft revision of the Constitution revealed Thursday
by a private policy think tank chaired by former Prime
Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone defines the emperor as the
head of state and stipulates that "defense forces"
should be maintained for self-defense.
The draft made by the Institute of International Policy
Studies in Tokyo also proposes the addition of clauses
concerning emergency situations, such as national
security breaches, terrorism and massive natural
disasters, under which provisions of the Constitution
would be suspended temporarily and the prime minister's
Comprising a preamble and 116 articles in 11 chapters,
the draft enhances the authority of the prime minister
and defines House of Representatives elections as
virtually prime ministerial elections. It is said to be
unique in its inclusion of an article confirming the
importance of the family unit.
According to the institute, which was established in
1988, Nakasone and its members spent 1-1/2 years
compiling the draft, which the institute said it sees as
a model for a new constitution for Japan in the 21st
As for national security, the draft revision retains the
provision concerning the renunciation of war in the
first paragraph of Article 9 of the current
Constitution, but provides for maintaining defense
forces for self-defense in the second paragraph.
It also allows for the participation of a Japanese
military in activities under the auspices of the United
Nations or international cooperation for the purpose of
international peace and humanitarian aid. However,
activities in which force might be used would be subject
to Diet approval.
Although the current Constitution stipulates that
executive power is vested in the cabinet, the draft
gives exclusive administrative authority to the prime
minister to strengthen his or her leadership.
While it stipulates that the prime minister shall be
elected from among lower house members through a lower
house resolution, the draft requires political parties
to specify the names of their prime ministerial
candidates during lower house elections.
The section aims to make lower house elections into
prime ministerial elections through providing voters
with information on each party's prime ministerial
candidates, while maintaining the current parliamentary
The draft also allows the prime minister to submit his
or her own bills to a referendum with support of
one-third of both houses' members if the bill conflicts
with the Diet.
According to the draft, the bill can be enacted if the