Start Planning
Constitution Memorial Day

Constitution Memorial Day 2020 and 2021

Constitution Memorial Day is celebrated every 3 May in Japan to remember the establishment of a new constitution for the country in 1947 after the fall of the Japanese Empire during World War II.

YearDateDayHoliday
20203 MaySunConstitution Memorial Day
6 MayWedConstitution Memorial Day Holiday
20213 MayMonConstitution Memorial Day

When Emperor Showa finally surrendered to the US in 1945, it took a two-year process of joint Japanese and US effort before a new constitution for Japan was put into effect. The document was ready and ratified by late 1946, but it was not implemented until 3 May 1947. There was a push to have the holiday’s date set on 3 November, when the new constitution was ratified, instead of 3 May. But since that was the same day that war crimes trials began against imperial officials for their conduct during the war, the implementation date was chosen instead.

Constitution Memorial Day is essentially meant to celebrate the coming of democracy to Japan. As the constitution declares Japan eternally neutral, it is also a day on which pacifists celebrate the constitutional “guarantee” of perpetual peace. Additionally, this is one of the main days on which Japan’s history and culture is put on public display. It is an integral part of “Golden Week”, which is a series of four major Japanese holidays occurring at the end of April and the beginning of May.