A constitution is a body of rules and regulations that is applied in the governing of a state and in the administration of justice by the courts of law. The concept of constitution was clear to the Japanese and consequently during the reign of Emperor Meiji the Japanese empire formulated the constitution that was used in governing the empire and for use by courts in dispensing the justice. The constitution of any state however should place more emphasis on the people because it is the people who are governed and it is a document meant to further the welfare of the citizens and thus it should be people based.
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However, the 1889 Japanese constitution placed high emphasis on the emperor as opposed to the subjects/people. It describes the emperor as the head of state and he possesses the sovereignty of the people instead of the sovereignty of the country being vested on the people. The emperor derived a lot of power from the constitution that descends from the ancestors. This constitution is thus an instrument of the emperor with which to use to rule people and did not contain the aspirations of the subjects. A good constitutional document should make the ruler a puppet of the law otherwise he/she may end up misusing the constitution for his/her own personal benefits.
THE CONSTITUTION AND HISTORY OF JAPAN
Japans history is well known by all and sundry. The most striking aspects of the Japanese history is its involvement in the second world war. During this war Japan rivaled the allied forces consisting of America and its allies and the peak of this war was the bombing of Japanese towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where by the US forces threw atomic bombs that greatly left these two towns and their neighboring regions totally devastated. This was in the year 1945-1946.the constitution of Japan was amended in the year 1947 and its amendment was driven primarily by two spirits:
First the constitution became people based. The sovereignty of the constitution was made to rest to the people and the government derived its very powers from the people. It sought to expand the democratic space by having people’s representatives have a say in the decision making and running of the state affairs. The government became the trust of the people implying that in undertaking its activities the interest of the people would always come first. Democracy is highly entrenched in Japan and as is well known democracy is one of the recipe for development and that’s why Japan is one of the world’s economic giant.
Secondly, it gave much emphasis on peace and stability. It should be recalled that the year of amendment of the constitution  was shortly after the Second World War. Japan resolved to stay peacefully and adopted the approach of non interference with the world politics having borne the brunt’s of war. It also purposed to cooperate with lovers of peace and stability. Peace is prerequisite for development because business and economic activities need a stable environment for them to thrive well. Today Japan is mostly concerned with helping the poor countries to achieve development and its voice is rarely hard in world’s political debates.
Japan embarked on developing its economy and it has grown phenomenally technologically. It boasts the world’s largest automobile industry with its car models driven in almost every road at any one time in the world. It also has got one of the best transport and information communication infrastructures in the world. Its leaders are reform and development minded and they do follow the letters and the spirit of their constitution to ensure that the interest of ordinary Japanese people prevails all the time. The constitution of Japan is very stable with no haphazard amendments and this means that democracy is well entrenched because stability of constitution means growth of democracy and people’s participation in governance.
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