Chronological Table

Chronological table 3    February 1, 1946 - April 19, 1946

Japan GHQ, US Government and Others

February 1 Mainichi Shimbun runs a scoop on "Constitutional Problems Investigation Committee Draft Proposal. " February 1 FEAC delegation leaves Japan.
GHQ requests the Japanese government to submit an exact proposal prepared by the Constitutional Problems Investigation Committee.
Whitney sends memorandum to MacArthur "Constitutional Reform" (in relation to the authority of FEC and GHQ on revising the Constitution).
February 2 Constitutional Problems Investigation Committee holds its seventh general meeting (no meeting held thereafter). February 2 Whitney submits memorandum to MacArthur "Constitutional Reform (Matsumoto draft). "
    February 3 MacArthur puts forth three basic points (MacArthur Notes) and orders Government Section to draft a proposal for constitutional revision (the GHQ draft).
    February 4 Government Section starts work on drafting the GHQ Constitution revision proposal.
    February 6 Whitney sends MacArthur a memorandum "Constitutional Revision" (in relation to the revisions to be presented by the Japanese government).
GHQ orders arrest of 19 people suspected of war crimes including Sadamu Shimomura.
February 7 Matsumoto presents his "Gist of the Revision of the Constitution " to the Emperor.    
February 8 Japanese government officially presents Matsumoto’s "Gist of the Revision of the Constitution" and "Explanation" to GHQ. February 8 "Gist of the Revision of the Constitution" proposal from Matsumoto informally received (with assurances that a meeting will be held on February 13).
    February 10 Original draft of GHQ completed and submitted to MacArthur (Editing continues until February 12).
    February 12 MacArthur approves GHQ draft.
Charles Kades, Chief of Public Administration Division, Government Section (he would later become Deputy Chief of the Government Section) submits critical observations on the "Gist of the Revision of the Constitution" to Whitney.
    February 13 Whitney refuses to officially accept "Gist of the Revision of the Constitution" and personally hands over GHQ draft to Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshida and Matsumoto.
February 14 Japan Progressive Party decides on the "Outline of Constitutional Reform."
Constitution Investigation Association announces a statement calling for the convening of an assembly on preparation for enactment of the Constitution.
Tokyo University Constitution Investigation Committee established.
February 15 Jiro Shirasu, of the Central Liaison Office, sends a letter to Whitney, which becomes known as the "Jeep Way Letter."    
    February 16 Whitney replies to Jiro Shirasu regarding the "Jeep Way Letter."
February 18 Matsumoto submits "Supplementary Explanation Concerning the Constitutional Revision " to GHQ. February 18 Whitney rejects Matsumoto’s "Supplementary Explanation" and demands that a response be given regarding acceptance of GHQ draft within 48 hours.
February 19 Matsumoto reports to the cabinet meeting on the GHQ draft.
The Emperor begins touring the country.
February 21 Shidehara meets with MacArthur to confirm the intentions of the GHQ draft.    
February 22 Cabinet decides to accept the GHQ draft.
Matsumoto, Yoshida, and Shirasu go to GHQ to consult with Whitney and his staff.
Shidehara explains the situation to the Emperor.
February 23 Japan Socialist Party announces the "Outline of Constitutional Reforms. "    
February 25 A provisional translation of the GHQ draft made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is distributed at the cabinet meeting. The date of the general election is set for April 10.    
February 26 Cabinet decides to prepare the Japanese draft based on the GHQ draft, and starts work on it. February 26 FEC meets for the first time in Washington (eleven countries take part). The Soviet Union, Australia and United Kingdom advocate abolition of the Emperor system.
March 2 Japanese draft is finished (dated March 2).    
March 4 Japanese government submits draft dated March 2 to GHQ. Sato, Director of the First Department of the Bureau of Legislation and Kades and his staff negotiate until the next day on amending the draft.    
March 5 Through negotiations with GHQ, the cabinet decides to adopt the amended draft (the confirmed draft of the government of Japan dated March 5 is resolved).
Constitution Discussion Society, led by Assistant Professor Masatsugu Inada of Tokyo University of Arts and Sciences, submits their "Draft of the Constitution of Japan" to the government (dated March 4).
March 5 US Education Mission arrives in Japan.
March 6 Japanese government announces the "Outline of a Draft for a Revised Constitution. " March 6 MacArthur issues a statement approving the "Outline of a Draft for a Revised Constitution."
    March 8 Max Bishop, of the Office of the Political Advisor, mails the report on the outline of the draft to the Secretary of State.
March 10 A general election for the House of Representatives is declared.    
March 18 Bureau of General Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs produces the "International and Domestic Opinions on the Draft of the Constitution Revision (First Report). "    
March 20 Shidehara reports to the Privy Council on events leading up to the announcement of the draft. March 20 FEC requires of MacArthur that the FEC’s right to final evaluation of the draft Constitution be reserved and that the general election be postponed.
March 26 Tokujiro Kanamori appointed to a cabinet commission to deliberate on the constitutional revision draft.
People’s Language Movement (represented by Masatsugu Ando) proposes to the government that the Constitution be written in ordinary language.
    March 29 MacArthur sends off a wire rejecting the FEC ’s request for a postponement of the general election.
    March 30 US Education Mission submits its report urging democratization of education.
April 2 Cabinet meeting agrees, following GHQ’s approval, on writing the Constitution in ordinary language.    
April 3 Director General of the Bureau of Legislation Irie and Vice Director General Sato work on rewriting the draft in ordinary language.    
April 5 Cabinet approves the plain-language version of the draft (First Version of the Draft in Ordinary Language). April 5 MacArthur, at the first meeting of the Allied Council for Japan, emphasizes that the ACJ is limited to an advisory capacity.
April 7 Congress of People to Oust the Shidehara Cabinet is convened and "Democratic constitution by the will of the people " is chosen as the slogan.    
April 10 Twenty-second general election for the House of Representatives is held according to the new election law. April 10 FEC decides to ask MacArthur to delegate an appropriate official from GHQ to work on the problem of revising the Constitution (all members, including the US, concur).
April 13 Second plain-language version of the Constitution "April 13 Draft " produced.    
April 16 Shidehara explains, at a press conference, that constitutional revision is to be done by the current cabinet.    
April 17 Japanese government announces the "Draft for a Revised Constitution, " and presents it to the Privy Council. April 17 Whitney states at the meeting of ACJ that the democratization of Japan is moving forward smoothly, and the results of the general election were satisfactory.
    April 19 Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs in the Department of State indicates to Secretary of State Byrnes that trying to persuade MacArthur is pointless.
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