On This Day: Japan’s Imperial Meiji Constitution Goes Into Effect

On Nov 29, 1890, the Imperial Meiji Constitution, officially known as the The Constitution of the Empire of Japan, went into effect.

The newly enacted constitution was one of the culminating goals of the Meiji Restoration in 1868.  On parchment, the Meiji Constitution merged the principles of both constitutional and absolute monarchy.  Many scholars believe the constitution was heavily influenced by British and German government models.  It is debated how much power the Japanese Emperor actually held under the constitution despite his role as supreme leader.  

Although based on European government models in which the Sovereign was head of state and the Prime Minister was head of government, the Prime Minister under the Meiji Constitution was not always elected or chosen by the elected parliament.

The Meiji Constitution was ultimately replaced under the direction of US General Douglas MacArthur on November 3, 1946 and would provide the basis for the current constitution that was put into effect on May 3, 1947.

Japan’s Kishida Pledges Rearmament

By Yume Okamoto, Thornical Press Contributor

November 06, 2022

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warns it is time for the island nation to further militarize its defense forces to counter the threats from North Korea’s growing nuclear prowess and the burgeoning alliance between China and Russia.

Kishida’s rearmament warning comes as Japan hosts its first international maritime fleet review in seven years.  Eighteen warships from twelve nations took part in the naval review including the United States, Australia, Canada, India, and South Korea.

Kishida expressed his concerns over the growing tensions in East and South China seas as North Korea continues to fire missiles towards the Japanese mainland, which set off several civil defense alarms over the past few weeks.  Kishida also worries about the growing power of China and their possible alliance with Russia.

Although Kishida strives for peaceful solutions to ease tensions, he believes Japan should be prepared to defend itself if provoked.  Kishida had pledged earlier in his term to bolster Japanese defense capabilities over the next five years with the construction of warships, expansion of anti-missile defense systems, and improved land force operations.

Kishida pledged to strengthen the military alliance with the United States as a deterrence to North Korean and other belligerent threats in the region.