O Constitution Day (KenpoKinenbi - 憲法 記念 日) is the second of 4 national holidays, which happens annually on 3 in May and is part of the Golden Week (Golden Week), which came into effect on 3 in May of 1947, during the postwar period, replacing the old status of the Meiji Era of 1889.
It is considered an important day for Japanese citizens to reflect on the meaning of Japanese laws, democracy and Japanese government.
The Constitution of Japan (Nihon-Koku Kenpo) has been the basic law of the Japanese nation since 3 in May of 1947. It guarantees a parliamentary system of Government and fundamental rights. On this Constitution, the Emperor is the symbol of the state and the union of the people, but exerts a purely ceremonial power.
The Constitution Day is a reminder of the events and changes that began in 2 in September of 1945, after the Signing of the Agreement of Surrender by the then Emperor Hirohito (Emperor Showa), which ended the Second World War. This agreement left the country under the control of the Allied Forces until, in 1952, the final Peace Treaty was signed.
Before the signing of the surrender agreement at the end of World War II, it was the Emperor of Japan (then Emperor Hirohito), who held supreme control over the country and over the government. And it was in the Imperial family's home, that is, in the Imperial Palace, that all major national and international decisions were made, including the initial decision to take the country to war.
For the Japanese, however, the goal today is to remember and celebrate the establishment of democracy, as well as to reaffirm patriotism and, above all, to share awareness of the horrors of wars.
The Japanese people are the only one in the world who witnessed the mass destruction resulting from atomic bombs. The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the targets, where hundreds of thousands of people died as a direct and indirect consequence of the atomic bombing, perpetuated by the United States on 6 and 9 on August 1945, Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively.
- Major Changes in the New Constitution
The main change is in Article 9, where the law prohibits Japan from engaging in any type of war activity, except in cases of self-defense. With this, Japan adopted a peaceful policy and gained admiration of the world, in contrast with the vision of many, of being an aggressive, cold and warmongering nation.
Perhaps for having underestimated the enemy and witnessed the mass destruction and hundreds of thousands of deaths resulting from the nuclear bombs in Hiroshima e Nagasaki, Japan has learned in pain and suffering, that War is not worth it and that it can cause losses and wounds difficult to heal.
The meaning of the Article 9, is far beyond words written in an official document. It means giving up the war and bringing back to the Japanese people the power to decide on what is best for the nation. With this new twist, which eventually changed the direction of government, the beginning of a new era in Japan was defined.
It is not for nothing that the Article 9 is the biggest reason they have done Kenpoukinenbi, a national holiday nationwide, which Japanese citizens can take pride in their New Constitution, promote patriotism and share their story of overcoming and hope for better days and peace.
- Other amendments granted in the New Constitution:
The emperor will no longer exercise any governmental power and his position will be purely symbolic. This means that from the New Constitution, sovereign power belongs to the people.
Division of Governmental Power: Judicial, legislative and executive branch.
It is forbidden to lead a war or train an army.
National holiday: 3 May, Constitution Day.