March 21, 2017
Under the Constitution of the Empire of Japan, conscription was mandatory for Japanese citizens.
However, under the new Constitution which was established after the end of WWII, conscription is forbidden.
Although the Constitution does not explicitly refer to conscription, Article 18 is considered to forbid conscription. The “involuntary servitude” clause stipulated in Article 18 is considered to include conscription and thus, Article 18 is interpreted to prohibit conscription.
Article 18. “No person shall be held in bondage of any kind. Involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, is prohibited.”