Chronology 1977 - 1986
January 12 - The Keidanren Defense Production Council 経団連防衛生産委員会 issues a report to the LDP government: "On the State of Our Country's Security Guarantees and Defense Infrastructure."
July 23 - The Ministry of Education (Monbushō 文部省) revises its elementary school teaching guidelines requiring the incorporation of Kimigayo as the national anthem.
April 22 - Nakasone Yasuhiro, Secretary-General of the LDP (Jimintō Sōmu Kaichō 自民党総務会長), announces that constitutional revision is necessary in order for the SDF to have its right to warfare recognized.
July 19 - Kurusu Hiro-omi 来栖弘臣, Chairman of the Joint Staff Council (Tōbaku Gicho統幕議長), announces that in an emergency it is possible for the SDF to take extralegal actions. On the 25th, he is dismissed for having "violated civilian control" (bunmin tōsei ni hansuru 文民統制に反する).
August 7 - The Defense Agency, with the approval of PM Fukuda Takeo 福田赳夫, starts Defense Research 「Bōei Kenkyū 防衛研究」, a publication to conduct research into emergency legislation.
August 15 - PM Fukuda signs the shrine register at the Yasukuni Shrine with his official title of Prime Minister of the cabinet.
October 27 - The Yasukuni Shrine enshrines Tōjō Hideki 東条英機 and other A-class WWII criminals.
November 27 - The U.S.-Japan Security Cooperation Committee establishes "Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation" 「Nichibei Bōei Kyōryoku no Hōshin 日米防衛協力の指針」 (later known as the "Old Guidelines")
March 16 - PM Ōhira Masayoshi 大平正芳, in a session of the House of Councillors, states that nuclear weapons may be maintained under the Constitution.
June 6 - The Japanese Reign Name Law (Gengō hō 元号法) is passed in a general session of the House of Councillors. (Effective from the 12th of the same month).
November 27 - The Kōmeitō 公明党 issues a policy report recognizing the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty and the SDF.
June 22 - The House of Councillors and the House of Representatives hold general elections on the same day. The LDP receives a landslide victory for both Houses.
August 15 - PM Suzuki Zenkō 鈴木善行 and 18 cabinet members visit the Yasukuni Shrine. On the same day, the government adopts the position that conscription is unconstitutional.
August 19 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Itō Masayoshi 伊東正義, in a session of the Foreign Affairs Council of the House of Representatives, states that "Going by the contents of the constitution, nuclear weapons, no matter if they are large-scale or small-scale, cannot be held." This statement reaffirmed a similar view expressed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sonoda Sunao 園田直 in February 1972.
August 27 - Minister of Justice Okuno Seisuke 奥野誠亮, in a session of the Legislative Council of the House of Representatives, emphasizes the necessity of enacting an autonomous constitution. 「jishu kenpō seitei自主憲法制定」
September 7 - PM Suzuki, in a session of the LDP's National Training Workshop (Zenkoku Kenshū Kai 全国研修会), states that "In the Suzuki cabinet, constitutional revision is not being considered in the least."
September 24 - The LDP Constitutional Research Group, in a session of its Chair and Vice-Chair, confirm the received view that the current constitution has not taken root amongst Japanese citizens, and that it is necessary to enact an autonomous constitution on the basis of unified national opinion.
The Alliance for an Autonomous Constitution (Jiyū Kenpō Kisei Dōmei 自由憲法期成同盟) submits a written request to the LDP district representatives to raise a resolution for constitutional revision.
October 9 - PM Suzuki, in a session of the Budget Council of the House of Representatives, repudiates Minister of Justice Okuno Seisuke's repeated calls for constitutional revision by saying that as long as public opinion remains "immature" (kokumin yoron ga jukusanai kagiri 国民世論が熟さない限り), a proposition for constitutional revision will not be raised. He thereby advocates preserving the constitution.
October 22 - PM Suzuki states that it has become necessary for the cabinet both to respect and uphold the current constitution on the one hand, and to enact an autonomous constitution on the other. This statement is his first endorsement of the LDP's faction for the enactment of an autonomous constitution.
October 28 - The government, in a session of the cabinet, prepares a documented defense in response to Socialist Party member Inaba Seiichi's 稲葉誠一 question about the Yasukuni Shrine problem. Inaba's position is that public support of the Yasukuni Shrine in its present status as a religious corporation is unconstitutional. Furthermore, civil servants visiting the shrine do so in their official capacity. (On 11.5, Okuno Seisuke refutes this view.)
December 13 - The Prefectural Assembly of Nara Prefecture, hometown of Minister of Justice Okuno Seisuke, resolves to submit a document to the government requesting "constitutional preservation" 「kenpō junshū 憲法遵守」. Its contents can be read as a criticism of Okuno's repeated calls for constitutional revision.
January 6 - The heads of the four major financial groups (zaikai yondantai 財界四団体), at a press conference, call for the strengthening of Japan's defense and military powers.
February - Minister of Justice Okuno Seisuke, in an interview with a weekly magazine, emphasizes the necessity of constitutional revision, and suggests debating the pros and cons of constitutional revision in the 1983 elections for the House of Councillors. (On 2.9, in a session of the Budget Council for the House of Representatives, PM Suzuki declares a sweeping rejection of Minister Okuno's statements.)
March 11 - PM Suzuki, in a session of the Budget Council for the House of Councillors, states that article 9 should be adhered to for the foreseeable future.
April 22 - The Defense Agency makes an interim report on its research into emergency legislation.
197 members of "The Society of Diet Members Visiting the Yasukuni Shrine Together" 「Minna de Yasukuni Jinja ni Sanpai Suru Kokkai Giin no Kai みんなで靖国神社に参拝する国会議員の会」, headed by Takeshita Noboru 竹下登, make a group visit to the Yasukuni Shrine.
May 8 - PM Suzuki and President Reagan announce the U.S.-Japan Mutual Declaration. This is the first time it is stipulated that the U.S. and Japan are in a relationship of alliance. Hereafter, within the government, the definition of "alliance" becomes complicated as it may have acquired a military significance.
June 15 - The Kōmeitō Head Councilor, Takeiri Yoshikatsu 竹入義勝, states that his party will fundamentally revise its basic policy to recognize the necessity of making the SDF constitutional under civilian control by the time of the December party convention.
August 15 - PM Suzuki makes repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine with 18 cabinet ministers.
October 21 - The Alliance of Members for an Autonomous Constitution (Jiyū Kenpō Kisei Dōmei 自由憲法期成同盟) publishes its "First Draft of Constitutional Revision"「Dai Ichiji Kenpō Kaisei sōan shian 第一次憲法改正草案試案」.
January 21 - At its 40th annual party convention, the LDP incorporates the enactment of an autonomous constitution into its official policy. On the same day, Setoyama Mitsuo 瀬戸山三男, President of the LDP Constitutional Research Group, explains and receives PM Suzuki's approval for a specific plan for constitutional revision drafted by the Group.
March 24 - The LDP Constitutional Research Group and the Alliance for an Autonomous Constitution hold their first executive member get-together. They affirm their commitment to working for the enactment of an autonomous constitution and to strengthening cooperation between the groups.
July 28 - The First Subcommittee of the LDP Constitutional Research Group resolves to submit a plan for constitutional revision titled "A Report on the Emperor and the Cabinet" 「Tennō, Naikaku ni Kansuru hōkoku 天皇・内閣に関する報告」 proposing broadening the scope of the Emperor's rights.
July 30 - The Third Subcommittee of the LDP Constitutional Research Group resolves to submit a plan for constitutional revision titled "A Report on the Rights and Duties of Citizens"(kokumin no kenri, gimu, shihō ni kansuru hōkokusho 国民の権利、義務、司法に関 する報告書).
December 1 - The Alliance for an Autonomous Constitution publishes their "Follow-up Plan to the First Draft of Constitutional Revision"「Dai Ichiji Kenpō Kaisei sōan shian tsuikaan 第一次憲法改正草案試案追加案」incorporating new human rights such as the "Right to Know" 「shiru kenri知る権利」.
The Alliance also resolves to pursue a policy of requesting PM Nakasone, in his capacity as president of the LDP, to promote a plan for constitutional revision.
December 9 - PM Nakasone makes a general policy speech addressed to representatives of the various political parties held during a general session of the House of Representatives, asserting that, based on its political program, it is only natural that the LDP should research the problem of constitutional revision. Following this, on the 13th he unambiguously states his advocacy of constitutional revision in a session of the Budget Council of the House of Representatives.
January 22 - At the LDP 42nd annual convention, the party ratified a convention resolution calling for an "autonomous constitution" (jishu kenpō 自主憲法) for the first time, reflecting PM Nakasone's advocacy of debate on constitutional revision.
January 28 - The LDP Constitutional Research Group agrees to incorporate the LDP's basic stance on constitutional revision at the level of national elections into their manifesto.
February 22 - Chief Cabinet Legislative Bureau Secretary Tsunoda Reijirō 角田禮次郎, in a session of the Budget Council of the House of Representatives, argues that the right to collective self-defense cannot be exercised unless the constitution is revised.
March - The Alliance for an Autonomous Constitution publishes a booklet titled "What to Alter in the Present Constitution and How to Alter It"「Gen Kenpō no Doko o, Dō Aratameru 現憲法のどこを、どう改 める」.
March 2 - Minister of Education Setoyama Mitsuo 瀬戸山三男, in a session of the Education Council of the House of Representatives, affirms enactment of an autonomous constitution and revision of article 9. (But on the 7th he changes his views, saying that article 9 is fine as it is.)
July 20 - PM Nakasone instructs the LDP to develop a rationale for making the Prime Minister's and cabinet's official visits to the Yasukuni Shrine constitutional.
November 24 - The LDP Yasukuni Shrine Problem Subcommission (Jimintō Yasukuni Jinja Mondai Shō Iinkai 自民党靖国神社問題小委員会) states their view that the official visits made to the shrine by the PM and the cabinet do not constitute religious activity prohibited by the constitution. (In 4.13.1984, the General Commission of the LDP officially approves this as the LDP's stance.)
December 21 - Socialist Party President Ishibashi Masashi 石橋政嗣 directs his party to investigate the debate over the constitutionality or non-constitutionality of the SDF.
May 3 - Inaba Osamu 稲葉修, President of the LDP Constitutional Research Group, at a national convention of the Alliance for an Autonomous Constitution (Jishu Kenpō Seitei Kokumin Kaigi 自主憲法制定国民会議), states his intention to persuade the Kōmeitō and Socialist Parties to support constitutional revision with the prospect as a means to put a brake on military power.
July 13 - The government, in a cabinet meeting, resolves to issue a defense of the Yasukuni Shrine problem. They affirm the view that although the official visits to the shrine by cabinet ministers cannot be conclusively seen as constitutional or non-constitutional, the latter possibility cannot be denied.
August 3 - The private advisory body of Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujinami Takao 藤波孝生issues a report on "Official Visits by Cabinet Ministers to the Yasukuni Shrine"「Kakuryō no Yasukuni Jinja Kōshiki Sanpai ni Kansuru Kondaikai 閣僚の靖国神社公式参拝に 関する懇談会」. The organization starts to formulate a review of the government stance about the possibility of official visits being non-constitutional.
August 15 - PM Nakasone, together with 14 cabinet ministers, visits the Yasukuni Shrine.
August 9 - At an informal discussion of the problem of official visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, a report is issued concerning the visits holding that an examination should be conducted into the practical methods of making the visits acceptable to the majority of citizens in a form that prevents the visits from violating the constitutional principle of the separation of religion and state.
August 15 - For the first time in the post-war period, Nakasone visits the Yasukuni Shrine in his official capacity as Prime Minister of the cabinet. On the same day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujinami Takao, in an official conversation based on the informal discussion on the 9th, changes the government stance regarding the official visit to the Yasukuni Shrine of 11.1980, stating that official visits to the shrine will henceforth be regarded as constitutional.