Japan’s constitution was created on May 3, 1947 during the occupation by allied forces and is celebrated each year as one of the 4 public holidays during the national Golden Week holiday period.  When May 3rd falls on a Sunday, the holiday is taken on the next available weekday but since it’s smack bang in the middle of GW, May 6 also becomes a holiday and thus creating a longer GW for everyone to enjoy!  Japanese are well known for working incredibly long hours and rarely taking their full allotment of designated holidays each year, so any excuse to extend GW is welcomed by all.

The constitution of Japan was enacted with the aim of creating a peaceful country and learning from the experiences of World War II, which resulted in many casualties. Constitution Memorial Day was established as a national holiday to commemorate the enforcement of the Constitution. It is also a day to look forward to the further growth of the nation.

Japan’s constitution was actually enacted on November 3rd 1947 and there was discussion about making November 3rd Constitution Day, however, the allied forces were said to oppose linking the Constitution with the Emperor as they believed after the experiences in WWII that the relationship between the Emperor and the people needed to be weakened in order for Japan to grow as a peaceful nation.  November 3rd was also the birthday of the Meiji Emperor, so May 3 was designated as the day to celebrate this occasion.

May 1st – 7th is Constitution Week and during this time it’s possible to visit courtrooms and government buildings and ask questions of judges and prosecutors. There are also various programs for children to participate in during this period.

There are symposiums and lectures on the Constitution, such as the dignity and freedom of the individual, which are available via various platforms free of charge. Even in the COVID age, such events are taking place via zoom.

Some important aspects of Japan’s Constitution include National Sovereignty, human rights, and pacifism, which is one reason Japan’s constitution prevents it having an armed military capable of going to war but instead has a National Self Defense Force.

Talk to our consultants about how to visit Japan’s National Diet Building.