In 145th Session the Diet Law was revised to establish Research Commissions on the Constitution in both Houses of the Diet. Their purpose is to conduct broad and comprehensive research on the Constitution of Japan. They were inaugurated on January 20, 2000, the opening day of 147th Session. This is the first time since the Constitution came into effect in May 1947 that the Diet has set up official organizations to discuss it.
|1957 August||Commission on the Constitution was set up inside the Cabinet.|
|1964 July||The Commission submitted a report with twelve annexes to both the Diet and the Cabinet.|
|1997 May||A cross-party parliamentary Group for the Establishment of a Research Committee on the Constitution was set up.|
|1999 February||The Democratic Party of Japan, New Komeito and Reformers' Network Party
agreed on a proposal to establish a Research Commission on the Constitution,
which should not have the authority to submit bills.
The Liberal Democratic Party and Liberal Party concurred in the above proposal.
|1999 March||The secretaries general of these five parties jointly presented the proposal to the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration, who requested the Speaker to refer the matter to the Council on the Parliamentary System.|
|1999 May||The Chairman of the Council on the Parliamentary System (also the Chair of the Rules and Administration Committee) submitted a report to the Speaker.|
|1999 June||The Subcommittee on Amendment to the Diet Law within the Rules and Administration Committee began to consider the establishment of a Research Commission on the Constitution.|
|1999 July||The Rules and Administration Committee agreed that Research Commission on the Constitution should be established in the House of Representatives and presented both a bill to amend the Diet Law to establish it and the draft Regulations of the Research Commission on the Constitution. After passing the House of Representatives, the bill was amended by the House of Councillors to establish a similar commission in the House. The amended bill was then sent back to the House of Representatives and passed by a majority.|
|2000 January 20
(Opening Day of 147th Session)
|Both Houses set up Research Commissions on the Constitution.|
On July 6, 1999 the Committee on Rules and Administration agreed on the following points:
2. Outline of the Commission
(1) Objects of setting up the Commission(Art.102-VII of the Diet Law ; Art. 1 of the Regulations of the Research Commission on the Constitution of the House of Representatives)
The Research Commission on the Constitution of the House of Representatives is an organ set up to conduct broad and comprehensive research on the Constitution of Japan.
(2) Report (Art. 2 of the Commission Regulations)
Upon completion of its research, the Research Commission on the Constitution shall prepare a written report on the process and the results of the research, and the Chairman of the Commission shall submit it to the Speaker. The Commission may prepare an interim report on the process of its research, and the Chairman of the Commission may submit it to the Speaker.
(3) Members of the Research Commission (Arts.3 and 4 of the Commission Regulations)
The Research Commission on the Constitution shall consist of 50 members. Membership shall be allocated to political parties and groups in proportion to their numerical strength in the House.
(4) The Chairman and Directors (Arts. 5, 6 and 7 of the Commission Regulations)
The Commission shall elect the Chairman and nine Directors from among themselves. The Chairman shall arrange the business of the Commission, maintain order within it, and represent it. The Acting Chairman or a Director shall perform the duties of the Chairman when he is unable to attend. The management of the Commission shall be decided at meetings of the Chairman and the Directors.
(5) Sub-committees (Arts. 8 of the Commission Regulations)
The Commission may set up sub-committees.
(6) Meetings (Arts. 9 and 10 of the Commission Regulations)
The Commission may hold a meeting regardless of whether the Diet is in or out of session. The Chairman shall fix the dates and the times for meetings of the Commission.
(7)Dispatch of Commission members (Art. 14 of the Commission Regulations)
The Research Commission may send out its members for investigation with the approval of the Speaker.
(8) Opening to the Public (Art. 22 of the Commission Regulations)
Meetings of the Research Commission on the Constitution shall
be open to the public unless the Commission decides otherwise.