Religion, Education, and the Difficult Subject of Constitutional Law
(Tentative Title and Abstract)
Japanese conservatives have recently been experimenting with ways to revise the postwar constitution. For example, the 2006 revision of the Fundamental Law on Education and the 2017 anti-conspiracy law seem to have been legal tests for constitutional revisions favored by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The LDP draft constitution of 2012 preserved the liberal language of “fundamental human rights,” but it also refocused attention on duties over rights, granted rights to “people” (hito) rather than to “individuals” (kojin) and treated the household as the fundamental legal unit of society. Because prominent education reformers now lead LDP revision initiatives, recent initiatives such as the 2018 expansion of morality education in the public school curriculum exemplify what sort of citizen the LDP proposals imagine and idealize. Paying close attention to education reforms can therefore illuminate how the LDP’s proposed revisions may affect the way religion can be free in Japan.