Japan Celebrates Constitution Memorial Day

Japan’s Constitution Memorial Day: May 3, 2010 Constitution Memorial Day is a public holiday in Japan.

Japan commemorates the coming into effect of its new 1947 constitution. Japan’s constitution reflects Japan’s total abolition of war and military armament. Japan’s Constitution Memorial Day is one of the four public holidays in the Golden Week which also includes Emperor’s Birthday, Greenery Day, and Showa Day on April 29, Greenery Day on May 3, and Children’s Day on May 4.

History of Japan’s Constitution Memorial Day

Two years after the end of World War II, Japan promulgated a new constitution. It was recognized as a holiday since the passing of the new constitution on May 3, 1947. The renouncement of war is considered as Japan’s sovereign right and using war as an instrument to settle international dispute is forever banned. Article 9 of the Japanese constitutions states that:

ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

A number of known personalities, writers, and members of media in Japan have long been criticizing the above law such as the 2003 editorials in some major newspaper publications in the country.

Japan’s Constitution Memorial Day: Traditions, Customs and Activities

During this day, the National Diet Building, housing Japan’s upper house, the House of Councillors and lower house which is the House of Representatives (National Diet of Japan), becomes open to the public.

Also, the Japanese government calls for a nationwide reflection on the meaning of democracy in Japan and its forever renouncement of war as stated in the controversial and criticized Article 9 of the 1947 Japanese constitution.