Document Type

Journal Article


While the role of the United States in the development of Japan’s post-war constitution is well documented, less is known of the role of other Allied nations. This article seeks to narrate the role of Australia in this process, giving particular focus to the debate over provisions to provide an avenue for popular expression of approval of the constitution via referendum and/or a Diet review process. This process was approved as an official Far Eastern Commission (FEC) policy, known as the ‘Provision for Review’. The debate over this issue, and other elements of the constitutional replacement process, help illuminate the workings of the FEC, the relationship and conflict between the various Allied powers over policy and practice, the role of US unilateralism in the Allied control bodies, and the nuances of Australian policy towards Occupied Japan. Additionally and importantly, it demonstrates the appropriation of idealistic terms, especially the expression of the ‘will of the people’, by both sides of the Allied constitutional debate in order to further their own post-war agendas.