Documents with Commentaries

4-16 Discussions on the Day for Promulgation of the Constitution

 On October 29, 1946, the Cabinet, while considering on what day to promulgate the Constitution of Japan, first decided that the Constitution would come into effect on May 3, 1947 and then counted backwards to November 3, 1946 to decide the promulgation date. Because November 3 was the Meiji-setsu, the birthday of Emperor Meiji, the Cabinet was a little worried about how GHQ would react, but GHQ had no objections to this decision. However, before the Cabinet made its decision, some people in Government Section at GHQ felt that the Japanese government should be informally advised as to the inappropriateness of the date being chosen for the promulgation. The Chinese delegation to the Allied Council for Japan sent a letter to Atcheson, the chairman of the Allied Council for Japan, on October 25, complaining that Japan had made war on neighboring countries during the Meiji Era. He went on to argue that, as the new Japanese Constitution was the foundation of a democratic Japan, the Japanese government should be persuaded to choose a more appropriate day on which to celebrate its promulgation. In his reply on October 31, however, Atcheson wrote that there was no particular meaning behind the November 3 promulgation date and expressed his desire to avoid interference with the Japanese government's decision. Toshio Irie, then the Director General of the Bureau of Legislation, has written about key events during the period following this. Toshio Irie, then the Director General of the Bureau of Legislation, made a note of its details afterwards.

Actual Title of Source Memorandum for the Chief, Government Section, Subject: Necessity for informal SCAP approval of theday selected for promulgation of the Constitution and of the Promulgation Edict
Date 14 October 1946
Document Number Hussey Papers "31-A Promulgation of the New Constitution" <YE-5, Roll No. 5>
Repository (reproduction) National Diet Library
Repository Asia Library, University of Michigan
Note Microfilm
Actual Title of Source Letter from Chu Shih-ming to George Atcheson, Jr., dated 25 October 1946; Letter from George Atcheson, Jr. to Lieutenant General Chu Shih-ming, dated 31 October 1946.
Date 25 and 31 October 1946
Document Number GHQ/SCAP Records Government Section; Box No. 2088 "Publicity"<Sheet No. GS(B)00640-00644>
Repository (reproduction) National Diet Library
Repository U.S. National Archives & Records Administration (RG331)
Note Microfiche
Actual Title of Source [Events Leading to the Establishment of the Constitution of Japan, Manuscript 5]
Date [June 21, 1954]
Document Number Irie Toshio Papers : 66
Repository (reproduction)  
Repository National Diet Library
Copyright©2003-2004 National Diet Library All Rights Reserved.