1996 年 11 巻 p. 35-45,145
On February 28, 1995, Supreme court of Japan held that providing voting rights to alien people did not violate the Constitution of Japan. It also stated that it was a legislative discretion to provide voting rights for alien people at local elections. This judgement had a strong effect on the constitutional theory, because it had been common to deny alien suffrage in Japan. Some critics argue, however, that providing voting rights to alien people, at least at local elections is possible because local voting rights are guaranteed by article 93, sec. 2 of the constitution, which guarantees local voting rights to “Jyumin”, for they argue “Jyumin” can include alien people.
This paper diagnoses such arguments. Voting rights embrace two characters. First, they have a character which reflects participation in government. Second, they have one which reflects public concerns and the electoral system. First character is guaranteed by article 15, sec. 1 of the constitution of Japan, not only at congressional elections, but also at local elections. Thus, when we want to provide voting rights to alien people, we have to reconsider the concept of “Kokumin”, because constitutional law gurantees voting rights to “Kokumin”.