Web Archive Citizens' Groups/NGOs
Citizens' Committee on 21st Century Japan and the Constitution 「２１世紀の日本と憲法」有識者懇談会
This committee was established to promote discussion on constitutional revision in order to advance more fruitful discussions in the Diet’s Constitution Committees. The website introduces the 8th Public Constitution Forum and states that Article 9 has been jeopardizing Japan’s national security. It argues that the 1st clause of Article 9 should be revised with clearer expression, and that the 2nd clause should be replaced with a clause specifying the SDF as Japan’s military force. The website also contains the results of public opinion polls that show public support for constitutional revision.
Citizens' Constitution Forum 市民立憲フォーラム
This website encourages Japanese citizens to consider and discuss the constitution, and seeks to provide the citizens with comprehensive information about the constitution. It presents its own draft for a new constitution by Ebashi Takashi, as well as translations of the constitution in Chinese and Korean. It also introduces recent news; citizens' constitutional forums; the revision movement of each political party; numerous academic theses about constitutional revision; an original glossary for the constitution; and a record of all meetings made by the Research Commission on the Constitution of the House of Councillors and of the House of Representatives. The website raises further issues such as citizens' rights and responsibilities; structural revision of prefectural governments; human rights; the right to privacy; environmental problems; and the national anthem.
Constitution Campaigners 憲法行脚の会
This website features very brief summaries of several anti-revision meetings, as well as statements from campaigners in this association. In the statements, the campaigners oppose constitutional revision, holding that the LDP seeks to restrict human rights and restore systems of privilege. For example, it claims that the emphasis on "public order" in revised articles 12 and 13 implies more restrictions on human rights; and that removing the 2nd clause of Article 9 will transform Japan into a militaristic country by people of privilege. The anti-revision meetings sponsored by this group have featured guest speakers such Kame Shizuka and Doi Takako.
Constitution Conference Preventing Constitutional Revision 憲法会議憲法改悪阻止各界連絡会議
The website features documents and the meeting minutes of such varied sources as newspapers, politicians, legal associations, and the Article 9 Association, all opposed to constitutional revision. The group's stated intent is to spread awareness about the constitution in order to prevent revision.
Cooperative Center against Constitutional Revision 憲法改悪反対共同センター
The website introduces opinions, meeting minutes, publications from major newspapers, and anti-revision associations in order to develop a popular political movement throughout the country. This website states that the United States, the LDP, and Nippon Keidanren intend to make Japan a "war-waging country" through revision of the constitution. It also states that the war in Iraq and the movement toward peace among the European Union and Asian countries point to the importance of Article 9.
Diet Members Caucus for Promoting Constitutional Revision
This is the website of an official congressional association composed of more than 300 Diet members favoring constitutional revision. It provides the association's mission statement and membership, and a comparative history of the constitutions of Japan and Germany. The website claims that Germany's constitution was created by its own citizens, while the constitution of Japan was imposed by the United States. The dramatic improvement in the economy and welfare in the postwar decades helped Japan occupy an honorable position in the international community, but in order for Japan to make a further contribution to the world, it must be concerned about the preservation of world peace. They claim that the constitution (especially Article 9, clause 2) should be revised in order to adapt to new challenges and situations.
JANJAN (Japan Alternative News and New Cultures) 市民メディア・インターネット新聞
The website presents public opinion polls and surveys gathered since January 2003 on
constitutional revision. It shows a high level of public opposition to revision, particularly of Article 9. For example, one of its articles introduces a survey in which 77% of a total sample of 28,169 people in 11 prefectures opposed changing Article 9; 12% approved revision; and 11% had no response. Other articles on the website introduce symposia, talk shows, and personal opinions regarding constitutional revision.
Japan Assocation of Environment and Society for the 21st Society
This association offers an original revision draft emphasizing the environment. In addition to the three principles in the current constitution (1. popular sovereignty, 2. fundamental human rights, 3. pacifism), a fourth principle—protection of the environment—should be added. It states that a new chapter devoted to the environment would be a vital part of the new constitution because the world economy is changing rapidly and because environmental problems are becoming a serious threat to humankind. It asserts that environmental restrictions are as essential as Article 9, and that this new chapter will be important for clarifying the concept of "public welfare." The association also suggests making changes to the Preamble to include the environment.
Japan Centre of International P.E.N. 日本ペンクラブ
This website features statements by this association, including its opposition to the legalization of the national flag and anthem, the dispatch of SDF troops to Iraq, and a bill regarding a national referendum on constitutional revision. It claims that the restrictions imposed by the LDP and other parties on the media contravene freedom of speech. It also claims that prohibition of political activism on the constitution by educators and foreigners is a blatant strategy to suppress criticism of the ruling parties.
Japan Conference is Japan's largest conservative and patriotic political association. It is comprised of 248 members of the Diet, many scholars, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and many other influential people in various fields. It encourages constitutional revision, political support for Yasukuni Shrine, and revision of the Fundamental Law on Education. In its website, the group presents 12 short paragraphs in a Q&A form explaining why the Japanese need a new constitution. It also introduces five constitution forums the group has sponsored, along with summaries of comments made by the speakers in the forums.
Japan Democratic Lawyers Association (JDLA)
Founded in 1961 and composed mostly of lawyers, the association states that the LDP draft for constitutional revision violates the principles of pacifism, human rights, and social welfare. The association publishes statements on many related issues (such as the PKO cooperation law and SDF dispatch to Iraq), and these are available on the website. Other topics include the relationship between the Diet and Cabinet, citizens' rights and responsibilities, the Preamble, and public welfare. Most of the association's articles are published in its magazine – "Law and Democracy (法と民主主義)."
Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA)
The website features the national association of attorneys who uphold Article 9 and oppose its revision. This association also respects the three principles in the current constitution: popular sovereignty, fundamental human rights, and pacifism. The association states, however, that it adopts a neutral position regarding constitutional revision and supports discussions about the constitution undergoing change.
Japan Lawyers Association for Freedom (JLAF) 自由法曹団
This association was established in 1921 with the purpose of "ensuring fundamental human rights, strengthening democracy, and contributing to the creation of a peaceful, independent, and democratic Japan." The members include 1,657 attorneys (as of September 2006), and there are 38 branches throughout the country. The association states that the LDP intends to corrupt Article 9 and support the United States' self-interested wars under the name of "international cooperation." The LDP abuses its financial and political power to influence the mass media and education, and promotes a biased image of constitutional revision. The site contains many official statements and resolutions against constitutional revision and related issues.
Japanese Society for History Textbook Revision
This group intends to make a textbook which makes young Japanese confident and proud of their country. It claims that some of the current history textbooks contain propaganda from Japan’s former enemies and treat Japan’s young generation as if they were 'destined to become criminals.' The website has PDF files in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese of excerpts from the revised history textbook that was adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This textbook became a source of great controversy in South Korea, China, and Japan. Regarding the birth of the current Japanese constitution, the textbook states: " …[I]n February 1946, GHQ presented a draft of the Constitution, which had been written in about a week, to the Japanese government, insisting on a complete reconstruction of the Imperial Constitution. Government officials were shocked by the content of the GHQ’s draft. But they accepted it, fearing that the Emperor's status might be jeopardized if they did not" (History Textbook [online English PDF version], p. 59).
JCA-Net: Linking Citizens and Scholars on Constitutional Issues
The website introduces and sometimes offers the whole version of anti-revision articles and theses written by scholars, writers, and prefectural governors. The website also provides a very detailed summary of constitution-related events between 1991 and 2001.
Kyujo Kokoku Shien no Kai 九条広告支援の会 (Sponsor for Advertisement on Article 9)
The purpose of this organization is to raise funds from the public for advertisements and activities in order to preserve Article 9. It also supports numerous local anti-revision groups, including many branches of the Article 9 Association. The organization has raised more than 2.7 million yen. Its website contains few opinions on constitutional revision per se, but it contains some articles, news, and a summary of each political party's view regarding Article 9.
Women's Association on the Constitution 女性の憲法年連絡会
This is one of the few women's associations in Japan related to the constitution. It is more strongly opposed to National Emergency Legislations than to constitutional revision. The website also provides minutes of meetings and events related to the constitution and women.