In a country where freedom of speech is guaranteed under a democratic system, a quiet revolution not involving arms is necessary. To start a quiet revolution to change a whole country three things are required: 1) awareness of being a leader, 2) clear-sighted vision, and 3) the power to move public opinion. Every one of us should be aware of our role as leaders of Japan and start to turn the vision presented in 100 Actions into reality by sharing what we each can do. The principles necessary to do so are as follows.
“I need to apologize to you. I’m very sorry that our generation will leave you a debt of nearly 1,000 trillion yen.” This is what Mr. Yoshihiko Miyauchi, senior chairman of Orix, said at a G1 Executive meeting. In this chapter, I will discuss five key issues in 100 Actions that need to be addressed in order to take action through prioritizing limited resources.
Action 98. Provide Clear Numerical Targets for Fiscal Reconstruction, Introduce the Dō System, and Establish a Constitutional Court!
Public finance is the backbone of the country. If it collapses, the country collapses. It is therefore necessary to clearly indicate numerical targets for fiscal reconstruction in the Constitution, which shapes the country. The same can be said for the Dō system. Taking the revision of the Constitution as an opportunity, the people of Japan should have a thorough debate and carry out a revolution to reshape the country. It is also necessary to introduce a constitutional court, which currently does not exist in Japan, on the occasion of the revision of the Constitution.
Action 97. Establish the Superior Authority of the House of Representatives, Adopt a Generation-Based Electoral System, and Include an Emergency Provision!
The problems associated with the current Japanese bicameral system can be roughly grouped into: 1) the risk of a divided parliament, 2) the electoral system, and 3) the homogeneity of arguments between the two Houses of the Diet. The optimal solutions identified based on precedents in other countries are: 1) differentiation of the authorities of the two Houses (elevate the authority of the House of Representatives to a superior level), 2) differentiation of the methods of electing members of the two Houses, and 3) differentiation of the roles of the two Houses. These measures will reshape the Diet in a positive direction. The revision of the Constitution can be considered the best opportunity for fundamental reform of the Diet and the political system.
Action 96. Add New Basic Human Rights, such as Environmental Rights, and Define the Responsibilities of the Japanese People!
It is sometimes said that the Constitution of Japan is like the pocket of Doraemon. This refers to Article 13, which stipulates the “right to the pursuit of happiness.” This is the article based on which many new human rights to be guaranteed have emerged in response to changes in our society. These new human rights should be included in the new Constitution. At the same time, it is necessary for us to consider how to define the “responsibility of the Japanese people” and the “roles of Japan and its people” in order for the Japanese people, as the sovereign, to be involved in the national administration and for the creation of the best possible Japan.
Action 95. Ensure the Firm Maintenance of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan; Then Clearly Describe the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and their Roles based on the Actual Situation!
According to Yukio Okamoto, a former diplomat, “We Japanese people should be proud of the path we have followed as a world-acclaimed peaceful nation under Article 9 of the Constitution. However, the reason why we have managed to get by without being attacked by other countries despite our low level of defense spending is not because of Article 9 but because of the defense system under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.” There is no guarantee that this deterrent system can be maintained into the future. It is necessary to develop realistic security policies that take into account the environment we are in.
Action 94. Describe Japan in the Preamble to the Constitution of Japan and Define the Head of State!
What is a constitution? From a modern constitutional perspective, which was established through people’s revolutions in Europe, the purpose of a constitution is to “limit the national authority to protect human rights.” In the present day, however, a constitution should both serve as the limiting legislation for a state while at the same time providing the grand design of the state and describing the basic values of the country and society. In the new Constitution, it is necessary to clearly present this basic concept at the beginning.
Action 93. Encourage Many Japanese People to Participate in the Process of Revising the Constitution for the First Time in Its History!
The Constitution of Japan is the oldest in the world. More precisely, among modern constitutions it is the 14th oldest, but all of the constitutions enacted before the Constitution of Japan have been frequently amended. For this reason, it is not wrong to say that the Constitution of Japan is the oldest in the world. We, as the sovereign, must take a serious look at the Constitution, which defines the rights of the Japanese people and the basic structure of Japan. We are entering an era where we must exit the mode of “ceasing to think” and start creating a Constitution that reflects the times.
Action 92. Seventy Years since the End of WWII – Build Relationships with Other Countries with an Eye towards the Future! (2 of 2)
Since the end of World War II, the United States has maintained its position at the center of world affairs but its leadership has reached its limits. We are now in a period of transition to establish a new order. The world has become more and more multi-polar and nationalism has become dominant in various places. Against the background of this global situation, Japan should build strategic relationships multilaterally with different countries rather than exclusively depending on the United States.
Action 91. Seventy Years since the End of WWII – Build Relationships with Other Countries with an Eye to the Future! (1 of 2)
Historically speaking, when Japan has connected with the world, Northeast Asian countries have served as geopolitical gateways. It would not be possible to think about Japan in relation to the wider world without taking into account the relationship with the Northeast Asian region. All the more because Japan has a long and close history with these neighboring countries, there are difficult diplomatic issues embedded in the relationship. On the other hand, such a long relationship entails many cultural similarities, which gives us hope that it will be possible to address issues that seem difficult to resolve.