Part 1: Japan's modernization and France

Chapter 1: Politics and law

The influence of Germany is strong in Japan's modern political and legal systems, however the influence of France cannot be ignored, with a great number of things learned from France at the beginning of Japan's modernization in particular. To the Japanese people of the Meiji Era, French political thought was key to forming the ideal state of politics. In addition, in the process of building the modern legal system, French laws, including the Code Napoléon, served as important models. Although it can be said that France's influence became weaker with a tendency more towards the newly emerging powerful state of Germany, it never disappeared completely.
In this chapter, first provides an outline of the investigation into French political thought in the first year of the Meiji Era, and then examines the relationships with the Freedom and People's Rights Movement. The chapter also introduces the influence of French law in the formation of the Civil Code, and the roles of French constitutional law during the establishment of the constitutional government.