General MacArthur's announcement of a new Constitution for Japan, 3rd draft

General MacArthur's statement of 6 March 1946 appearing new constitution


3RD DRAFT 2 Mar 46

General MacArthur's announcement of a
new Constitution for Japan.

It is with a sense of deep satisfaction that I am to-day able to announce a decision of the Emperor and Government of Japan to submit to the Japanese people a new and enlightened constitution which has my full approval. This instrument has been drafted after painstaking investigation and frequent conference between members of the Japanese Government and this headquarters following my initial direction to the cabinet five months ago.

Declared by its terms to be the supreme law for Japan, it places sovereignty squarely in the hands of the people. It establishes governmental authority with the predominant power vested in an elected legislature, as representative of the people, but with adequate check upon that power, as well as upon the power of the Executive and the Judiciary, to insure that no branch of government may become autocratic or arbitrary in the administration of affairs of state. It leaves the throne without governmental authority or state property, subject to the people's will, a symbol of the people's unity. It provides for and guarantees to the people fundamental human liberties which satisfy the most exacting standards of enlightened thought. It severs for all time the shackles of feudalism and in its place raises the dignity of man under protection of the people's sovereignty. It is throughout responsive to the most advanced concept of human relations - is an eclectic instrument, realistically blending the several divergent political philosophies which intellectually honest men advocate.

Foremost of its provisions is that which, abolishing war as a sovereign right of the nation, forever renounces the threat or use of force as a means for settling disputes with any other nation and forbids in future the authorization of any army, navy, air force or other war potential or assumption of rights of belligerency by the state. By this undertaking and commitment Japan surrenders rights inherent in her own sovereignty and renders her future security and very survival subject to the good faith and justice of the peace loving peoples of the world. By it does a nation, recognizing the futility of war as an arbiter of international issues, chart a new course oriented to faith in the justice, tolerance and understanding of mankind.

The Japanese people thus turn their backs firmly upon the mysticism and unreality of the past and face instead a future of realism with a new faith and a new hope.
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