Parliamentary Involvement in the Conclusion of Tax Treaties in Japan
Brian J. Arnold, ed., Tax Treaties After the BEPS Project: A Tribute to Jacques Sasseville (Toronto: Canadian Tax Foundation, 2018)
14 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2018
Date Written: August 29, 2018
This chapter, which is part of my broader inquiry into the history of Japan’s tax treaties, traces the historical development of parliamentary involvement in the conclusion of tax treaties in Japan, spanning its 130 years of constitutional politics.
The first modern constitution in Japan was promulgated in 1889. The 1889 Meiji Constitution guaranteed basic human rights and separation of powers. However, unlike contemporary constitutions in Europe, the 1889 constitution did not require the Imperial Diet’s consent for the conclusion of treaties. The chapter begins by examining the debate that arose in the late 19th century regarding this constitutional structure.
After the Second World War, in 1946, Japan adopted a new constitution, which remains unchanged today. Under the 1946 constitution, the Cabinet must obtain approval of the Diet for the conclusion of treaties. The chapter then explores the trend to reduce the scope of the Diet’s substantive involvement in concluding tax treaties in order to ratify treaties in a more expeditious manner.
The chapter concludes by pointing out three specific areas for improvement.
Keywords: Tax treaty, Parliament, Constitution
JEL Classification: H77, K33, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation