Naval Ensign of Japan (Myomi Republic)

Naval ensign of the Republic of Japan

The Japanese Realm (Japanese: ダイワ キョジボ (大和共治邦) Daiwa Kyōjibō) was a political entity created by the Republic of Japan in 1919 to replace the Imperial Japanese colonial system. The Japanese Commonwealth Law of 1919 changed the designation of "imperial subjects" to "citizens". Japanese overseas possessions were granted their own citizenship where their political, cultural and social rights were recognized by the Japanese Republic. Member countries were viewed and treated in equal basis despite sharing common defense system under the protection of the Japanese Republic.

While the Commonwealth Law promised for a gradual evolution of former Japanese possessions into sovereign nations, in reality the purposes of the formation of Japanese Realm are to prevent the break-up of the former Japanese Empire and to protect Japan's economic interests overseas. By 1919, the Republic of Japan in fact had no intention to grant former Japanese overseas possessions a full sovereignty. Instead, the Realm further centralized the Japanese rule on its possessions where all laws that were passed by the member states' respective legislatures required the permissions from the National Congress of Japan to be in effect.

Acted as the supreme organ of the Realm was the Conference of the Realm, convened periodically every five years and attended by the delegations from the member states' respective governments (usually led by the prime minister of one member state). However, the Conferences of the Realm functioned only symbolically and all power remained in the National Congress of Japan. When the Constitution of Japan was amended in 1931 and established the office of President of Japan, the President of the Republic of Japan was viewed as the ceremonial head and symbol of unity of the Japanese Realm.

In 1949, the Japanese Realm was formally abolished after the final Conference of the Realm produced the Manila Treaty that recognized all former member states of the Realm, including Japan, in equal and mutual status with full and real sovereignty. The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was formed in the place of the Realm.

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