【PART 3】 The Mystery of the Security Treaty Village (1): The Showa Emperor and the Constitution of Japan


【33】 August Revolution Theory


One of the representatives who pandered to the Establishment was Toshiyoshi Miyazawa, professor of the faculty of law at the University of Tokyo, who was a disciple of Minobe and became “the greatest authority on constitutional law” after the war.

Of course, it was not that he pandered to the Establishment without knowing the truth behind it. Supposedly he got a precise explanation by the government at an early point. The very next day after GHQ’s proposition of the draft Constitution to the Japanese government (February 14, 1946), the Constitutional Study Group was set up at the University of Tokyo by Chancellor Shigeru Nambara. It is obvious that they discussed where to position the GHQ draft in the study of law, understanding the contents of it.

The legal controversy between the Democratic Constitution theory and the Imperial Constitution theory in Japan ended up in the Democratic Constitution theory’s (that is, the University of Tokyo’s) victory. The reason is that Miyazawa created the “August Revolution Theory”(*)–according to which “the event of surrender has a revolutionary feature in the study of law.” The theory was developed in discussions at the Constitutional Study Group in order to finally set straight the inconsistency of the Democratic Constitution theory. “August Revolution Theory” is a “theory” that a revolution took place in a legal sense and the sovereignty was passed to the people from the Emperor on August 14, 1946, when Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration…

It really makes us disappointed, doesn’t it? The important thing for them was only the “conclusion” at the end, and “truth” and “logic” along the way did not matter at all. The theory made by this professor at the University of Tokyo, who is a member of the nuclear power village, the “theory of two definitions of a secret agreement,” and the “theory that a treaty is only a piece of paper” by Kitaoka, former professor of the faculty of law at the University of Tokyo, are identical, aren’t they?

Miyazawa had the opinion that, in the first place, “the Imperial Constitution does not deny democracy. It is not at variance with it basically even if we accept the Potsdam Declaration. It will be enough to revise it partly.” (September 28, 1945 at MOFA)

This opinion was actually a consensus among people of the ruling class in Japan right after the war. It said in line with the Potsdam Declaration, “The Japanese government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people.” So the Japanese ruling class thought it would be enough to “revive the democratic tendencies” as it was during the democratic era of the pre-war Taisho period, when the military had not been out of control. Based on such a policy, the “Declaration of Humanity” and the draft Constitution by the Japanese government I introduced earlier were made.

Nevertheless, a book by Miyazawa that became a basis of constitutional law in post-war Japan repeatedly maintained that “the Imperial Constitution was just a non-democratic constitution.”

The problem is not the fact his opinion changed, but when and why his opinion changed completely. No one knows this. So it is impossible to discuss properly even “the greatest authority on constitutional law in Japan after the war” when he changes his opinion totally out of the blue.

Even post-war Japan’s greatest authorities in social science are capable of changing their opinion 180 degrees to justify “a conclusion pre-determined from the start.” In other words, anyone professionally accustomed to this kind of justification will hardly feel any pain in losing integrity.


* ・・・  The person who came up with the idea of the “August Revolution Theory” and conveyed the idea to Miyazawa was the political scientist Masao Maruyama. He was supervisor of a clerk at the Constitutional Study Group at the University of Tokyo. (Maruyama Masao Shu [The Complete Works of Masao Maruyama]; Additional Volume/ Iwanami Shoten)