Chronology 1987 - 1996
March 15 - Chief Cabinet Legislative Bureau Secretary Mimura Osamu 味村治, in a session of the Budget Council of the House of Councillors, defends the stance that in terms of customary law (shūkan hō jō 慣習法上) that the Hinomaru is the national flag and the Kimigayo is the national anthem.
February 24 - The funeral ceremonies for the Shōwa Emperor are held in the Shinjuku Imperial Gardens.
May 2 - The Alliance of Members For an Autonomous Constitution draw up a plan, based on their 1981 "First Draft of Constitutional Revision" 「Dai Ichiji Kenpō Kaisei sōan shian 第一次憲法改正草案試案」. Its proposals include the restriction of private ownership except in the case of land, the confirmation of the Emperor as Head of State, and the retaining of military power for the purpose of self-defense.
January 18 - Mayor Motoshima Hitoshi 本島等 of Nagasaki 長崎 is shot by right-wing assassins for voicing his views on the Emperor's war responsibility.
June 18 - Vice-Chairman Kubo Wataru 久保亘 of the Socialist Party advocates a review of the theory that the SDF violates the constitution.
August 27 - Ozawa Ichirō 小沢一郎, Chief Officer of the LDP, states in a meeting of the four party chiefs that in the plan for contributing to the defense of the Middle East "even under the current constitution the overseas activity of the SDF is possible" (gen kenpō seika demo jieitai no kagai katsudō wa kanō 現憲法制下でも自衛隊の海外活動は可能)
Octber 24 - Director General of the Cabinet Legislative Bureau, Kudō Atsuo 工藤敦夫, in a session of the United Nations Peaceful Cooperation Special Council of the House of Representatives, states that under the current UN Charter, the participation of the SDF in the Security Forces is not possible.
November 8 - The House of Representatives confirms the shelving and rejection of the Bill for Peaceful Cooperation with the United Nations (Kokuren Heiwa Kyōryoku Hōan 国連平和協力法案). At the same time, the LDP, Kōmeitō and DPJ exchange a memorandum on "Agreement Concerning Peaceful Cooperation with the United Nations" 「Kokuren heiwa kyōryoku ni kansuru gōi 国連平和協力に 関する合意」about the formation of an organization other than the SDF that could cooperate with UN peacekeeping operations.
November 12 - Emperor Akihito's succession of the imperial throne is announced.
January 24 - With the start of the Gulf War, the LDP government decides to issue supplementary financial assistance of 90 billion dollars to the American-led Joint Forces. On the same day, the LDP also decides to dispatch SDF vehicles to the Gulf area on an exceptional government ordinance based on article 100 of the SDF Law. However, this is never carried out, and the resolution later becomes void.
April 24 - The government dispatches a minesweeper from the SDF naval forces to dispose of mines in the Gulf of Persia after the Gulf War.
May 17 - The Socialist Party's biggest faction, the Suiyōkai 水曜会, formulate a policy for recognizing the constitutionality of the SDF.
May 30 - The Sōhyō Center 総評センター changes its position to recognize the SDF while reserving judgment on its constitutionality.
August 23 - Director General of the Cabinet Legislative Bureau Kudō, in a session of the Budget Council of the House of Representatives, states the new view that participation of the SDF in UN peacekeeping forces is constitutional.
September 19 - The government submits the UN Peacekeeping Operations Plan (PKO Kyōryoku hōan PKO 協力法案) to the Diet. At the same time, it issues a statement on the necessity of using military force within the peacekeeping forces being relevant to the constitutional ban on the use of military force. This holds that using a minimum of force required to defend one's life or body cannot be categorized as use of military force.
February 2 - Ozawa Ichirō chairs the LDP's Special Investigative Council on Japan's Role in an International Society 「Kokusai Shakai ni Okeru Nihon no Yakuwari ni Kansuru Tokubetsu Chōsa Kai 国際社会における日本の役割に関する特別調査会」 which publishes an original plan entitled "A Suggestion Concerning Security Problems", defending the proposal that SDF participation in the UN Joint Security Forces would not violate article 9 of the constitution and calling for an examination of the issue.
June 15 - The PKO (Peacekeeping Operations) Cooperation Law and the Revised International Emergency Assistance Troop Dispatch Law (Kokusai Kinkyū Enjotai Haken hō 国際緊急援助隊派遣法) receive the majority approval and passage by the LDP, K?meit? and DPJ.
January 25 - PM Miyazawa Kiichi 宮沢喜一, in a session of the House of Representatives, states, with regard to the problem of constitutional revision, that because "public opinion has not sufficiently matured to specifically discuss what part of and how the constitution should be revised, "「gutaiteki ni doko wo dō aratameru no ka yoron wa seijuku shiteinai 具体的にどこをどう改めるのか世論は せいじゅくしていない」 "the government is not considering constitutional revision" 「seifu toshite kaisei wa kangaeteinai 政府として改正は考えて いない.
January 26 - PM Miyazawa indicates that exercising the right to collective self-defence is unconstitutional.
January 29 - Chief Cabinet Secretary Kōno Yōhei 河野洋平 requests and receives unified cabinet agreement that constitutional revision should not be placed on the political agenda.
May - SDF deployed to Mozambique to participate in UN Peacekeeping Operation.
May 13 - The Socialist Party draws up a draft plan of "The 1993 Declaration" 「93-nen sengen 九三年宣言」 regarding the constitutionality of the SDF. The plan recognizes the constitutionality of the SDF within a certain scope, despite the SDF's current situation being technically unconstitutional.
May 31 - The LDP Constitutional Research Group decides to hold an earnest debate about the establishment of a Constitutional Research Agency within the party.
August 6 - The "1955 Party Structure" 「55-nen taisei 五五年体制」is broken and a coalition government headed by PM Hosokawa Morihiro 細川護熙 of the Japan New Party (Nihon Shintō日本新党) is inaugurated.
October 4 - Yamabana Sadao山花貞夫, Chief Minister of Political Reform, and four other Socialist Party ministers announce in a session of the Budget Council of the House of Representatives that the SDF "may be considered in actuality a violation of the Constitution"「jittai wa iken de aru to kangaeru 実態は違憲であると 考える」. The next day Chief Cabinet Secretary Takemura Masayoshi 武村正義 expresses the unified government view that this statement on the non-constitutionality of the SDF "cannot be said to defy article 99's duty of respecting and protecting the constitution." 「kenpō 99 jō no kenpō sonchō yōgo gimu ni hansuru to wa ienai 憲法九九条の憲法尊重擁護義務に反するとはいえない」
December 2 - Director-General of the Defense Agency, Nakanishi Keisuke 中西啓介 resigns after calling for a "review" (minaoshi 見直し) of the constitution during a lecture.
June 2 - North Korea announces its withdrawal from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
July 20 - PM Murayama Tomiichi 村山富市, in a session of the House of Representatives, announces his recognition of the constitutionality of the SDF, the continuation of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, and the status of the Hinomaru and the Kimigayo as the national flag and national anthem respectively.
September 3 -The Socialist Party, in a special party congress, changes its existing political policy to recognize the constitutionality of the SDF.
October 4 - The LDP inaugurates the Party Issues Investigative Council (Tō Kihon Mondai Chōsa Kai 党基本問題調査会) with Gotōda Masaharu 後藤田正晴 as president. Its central debates are whether or not it can incorporate a "preservationist flavor" (gokenteki shikisai 護憲的色彩) into the party platform with regard to the enactment of an autonomous constitution.
October 19 - The New Party Preparation Council made up of members from the old coalition force drafts a midterm report of the new basic policy for the New Party. The policy report does not view the debate over constitutional revision as taboo and calls for continued debate over the constitution.
November 3 - The Yomiuri Shinbun 読売新聞 publishes a draft for constitutional revision that prescribes the constitutionality of the SDF as well as its overseas dispatch.
November 11 - Formation of the revised SDF Law that allows for the dispatch of SDF troops in order to rescue Japanese citizens during emergencies.
December 16 - The LDP Party Issues Investigative Council drafts a declaration which plays down the issue of constitutional revision. (Initially the revisionist faction fails to open deliberation on editing the text, but on the 23rd, in an extraordinary general meeting, the preservationist faction gives way.)
May 3 - The Yomiuri Shinbun publishes an editorial on the "General Outline of Security Policy" 「Sōgō Anzen Hoshō Seisaku taikō 総合安全保障政策大綱」 recognizing collective self defense; the Asahi Shinbun 朝日新聞 publishes an editorial promoting non-military means of international cooperation.
November 28 - After 19 years, the government decides on the outline of a new defense plan. This emphasizes the continuation and strengthening of the U.S.-Japan alliance, as well as SDF participation in UN PKO (Peacekeeping Operations).
April 17 - PM Hashimoto Ryūtarō 橋本龍太郎 and President Clinton sign the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Declaration (Nichibei Anpo Kyōdō sengen 日米安保共同宣言) that calls for extending the definition of 'security' to guaranteeing security at the level of the Asia-Pacific region and even globally.
May 13 - PM Hashimoto orders the relevant ministries to begin researching a system of emergency law.
July 29 - PM Hashimoto visits the Yasukuni Shrine and signs the register with the title of Prime Minister of the cabinet (Naikaku Sōri Daijin 内閣総理大臣).