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(1)The Promulgation of the Meiji Constitution and Educatron

After the Imperial Rescript on the 1890 Opening of the National Diet had been issued on October 12, 1881, the government set about advancing the preparations for the issuance of the constitution, and on February 11, 1889, the Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Dai Nippon Teikoku Kenpo) was promulgated. This is the so-called Meiji Constitution. This Constitution came into force on November 29, 1890, when the first session of the Imperial Diet was opened. Afterward, the politics of Japan were conducted on the basis of this Constitution, and educational policy thereafter was realized in accordance with it.

In the Meiji Constitution, there were no specific articles concerning education, but Article 9 of the Constitution referred to the issuance of necessary administrative orders on the basis of the supreme power of the Emperor and Article 10 noted the power of the Emperor to establish the various government organs. In these orders and organs those concerning education could be included. In addition, Chapter 6 Finance outlined the legislative process for national finances.

The question of whether or not to include provisions dealing with education in the Constitution was one which had been taken up in the various draft constitutions, but it was eventually decided not to incorporate such provisions into the Constitution itself. As a consequence, the important regulations concerning education, particularly those having to do with the goal of education and its content, became matters for imperial orders to be issued on the basis of Article 9 of the Constitution.

The 1886 Ministries Organization Order became the base of the organization of educational administration. This Order had been previously promulgated after the formation of the Cabinet system, but the above-mentioned Article 10 of the Constitution acknowledged its existence. On the basis of this Article 10, imperial orders were drafted which set up various central and regional bureaucracies for the administration of education; other imperial orders were also issued to specify the salaries of higher and junior level officials. In this way, within the framework of the Meiji Constitution, imperial orders rather than laws were relied on in creating the system for the government administration of education.

On the occasion of the determination of the 1890 Elementary School Order, there was a debate concerning whether this should be according to law or imperial order inasmuch as the Imperial Diet was soon to convene, but eventually it was promulgated as an imperial order. As a consequence, the subsequent fundamental regulations concerning education were issued as imperial orders on the basis of Article 9 of the Constitution mentioned above. This may be called the philosophy of educational regulation by imperial order and it was a fundamental characteristic of Japanese educational administration until after World War 2.

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(C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

((C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

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