“A Rational Way”: Konoe and Matsumoto on Constitutional Reform

Ray A. Moore and Donald L. Robinson

in Partners for Democracy

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151169
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833917 | DOI:
 “A Rational Way”: Konoe and Matsumoto on Constitutional Reform

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Describes the contention within the Japanese government for control of constitutional reform. Prince Konoe Fumimaro interpreted MacArthur's advice to him as a mandate to direct the process and secured an imperial appointment. Konoe's advisers, Sasaki Sōichi and Takagi Yasaka, solicited ideas on constitutional reform from George Atcheson, MacArthur's political adviser, until, stung by press criticism, MacArthur repudiated Konoe. Meanwhile, Matsumoto Jōji believed his cabinet committee studying constitutional reform could proceed independently of SCAP, and MacArthur ordered his staff to avoid all contact with the Matsumoto committee. After three months, the committee produced a draft constitution that MacArthur's Government Section brusquely rejected.

Keywords: George Atcheson; cabinet committee on constitutional reform; control of constitutional reform; Konoe Fumimaro; Government Section rejects Matsumoto draft; Matsumoto Jōji; Shidehara Kijūrō; MacArthur repudiates Konoe; Sasaki Sōichi; Takagi Yasaka

Chapter.  7226 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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