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A Return to the Meiji Constitution? The LDP’s Plan to Amend Japan’s American-Influenced Constitution
November 18, 2015 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
The news headlines in Japan and the U.S. have recently been full of the LDP’s new interpretation of the War Renouncing Article 9 of Japan’s 1947 Constitution – an interpretation praised by the U.S. government, which has sought a rearmed and unfettered Japanese military even before the American Occupation of Japan ended. But the LDP has broader plans for Constitutional Amendment, including plans to modify fundamental human rights set out in the Constitution and change the nature of Japanese society.
If the LDP can muster a 2/3 majority in the upcoming June 2016 Upper House election, its plans for amendment are likely to be placed before the Japanese public for Referendum vote so that they can be put in place by 2017 – the 70th anniversary of the American-influenced Constitution. Professor Goodman discusses how these changes, all but unnoticed by the press in the United States, could fundamentally change an important American ally and bring Japan back to its Meiji Constitution-era past.
Lecture presented by Carl Goodman, Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University. Professor Goodman is a retired partner in the firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue and had previously been a partner in the firm of Surrey & Morse. He began his legal career in the U.S. Department of Justice and was a special assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. He then served in the Civil Division’s Office of Alien Property litigating Trading with the Enemy Act cases, then to the U.S. Department of State where he served as the U.S. government’s agent before the International Lake Ontario Claims Tribunal. Professor Goodman also served in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and then as General Counsel of the Civil Service Commission. Following his government service, he rejoined Surrey & Morse in their New York City office, where he developed a Japan-related practice and became a partner in Jones Day when Surrey & Morse and Jones Day merged in 1986. Retiring from Jones Day in 1991, Professor Goodman became a professor of Anglo-American law at the Hiroshima University in Japan. Since returning to the U.S. in 1995, he has been a consultant to Japanese companies and their American subsidiaries.
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