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Characteristics of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan

1 The Emperor's Sovereignty

There are several legal features as to the Constitution of the Empire of
Japan. The Emperor possesses an absolute sovereignty under the
constitution.

As article 4 of the constitution provides that "the Emperor is the head of
the Empire. combining in himself the rights of severeignty, and exercises
them, according to the provisions of the present constitution."

2 The Diet System

The Imperial Diet was established and it consisted of two houses, a House of 
Peers and a House of Representatives (Article 33). And in order to enact 
law, it is required to obtain the consent of the Imperial Diet (Article 37). But 
the power of the Imperial Diet under the Meiji Constitution is comparatively 
powerless toward the government itself with that of the Showa Constitution 
established in 1946. 

Moreover, the sphere of the Emperor's sovereignty was quite extensive and 
there were a number of state affairs the Emperor himself is authorized to 
excercise without cooperation of the Imperial Diet (those articles such as 7, 
8, 9, 13, 14, etc.). This means the power of the government was 
strengthened toward the Diet substantially.





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