Following the collapse of the regime under the Constitution of the Empire of Japan, the liberal democratization of Japanese society has been the most pressing issue in postwar Japan. The current Japanese Constitution, which was promulgated on 3 November 1946 and took effect half a year later, fortified the judiciary, vesting the highest court in Japan with autonomous institutional authority and the power of judicial. The expansion of judicial power over administrative cases, strengthening judicial independence, and the conception of constitutional rights with judicial promised to fulfill expectations for a new era immediately after the establishment of the new constitutional system. However, the Supreme Court and the judiciary as a whole have played a relatively minor role in the liberal democratization of postwar Japanese society. It can by no means be said that administrative and constitutional litigation, in particular, are or have been as lively as they were expected to be when the current Constitution was promulgated. That is why nobody has earnestly applauded or reproached the Supreme Court. Around the end of the twentieth century, the Japanese government started an eagerly awaited discussion on judicial reform. In July 1999, the Cabinet established the Justice System Reform Council to clarify the role to be played by justice in Japanese society in the twenty-first century examining and deliberating fundamental measures necessary for the realization of a justice system that is easy for the people to utilize, participation by the people in the justice system, achievement of a legal profession as it should be and strengthening the functions thereof, and other reforms of the justice system, as well as improvements in the infrastructure of that system.
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