Background. Japan is a constitutional monarchy whose emperor is largely a figurehead. Following the defeat of Imperial Japan in 1945, Japan promulgated a new constitution on May 3, 1947, drastically redefining the emperor's role as being "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." His functions under the postwar system are narrow, specific, and largely ceremonial – confined to activities such as convening the Diet, bestowing...
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