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Japan Government: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Japan Government

Japan Government: A summary of information about Japan Government, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Japan: Government

Country name
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Japan
Data code
JA
Government type
constitutional monarchy
Capital
Tokyo
Administrative divisions
47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba,
Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gumma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido,
Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi,
Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara,
Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane,
Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama,
Yamagata, Yamaguchi, Yamanashi
Independence
660 BC (traditional founding by Emperor Jimmu)
National holiday
Birthday of the Emperor, 23 December (1933)
Constitution
3 May 1947
Legal system
modeled after European civil law system with
English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the
Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage
20 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)
head of government: Prime Minister Yoshiro MORI (since 5 April 2000)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the Diet designates the
prime minister; the constitution requires that the prime minister must
command a parliamentary majority, therefore, following legislative
elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority
coalition in the House of Representatives usually becomes prime
minister
note: on 3 April 2000, Prime Minister Keizo OBUCHI suffered a stroke
and was relieved of his duties; Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio AOKI
became acting prime minister; on 5 April 2000, Yoshiro MORI was
elected prime minister by a vote in both houses of the Diet, receiving
137 out of 244 votes cast in the House of Councillors ans 335 out of
488 votes cast in the House of Representatives
Legislative branch
bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of
Councillors or Sangi-in (252 seats; one-half of the members elected
every three years - 76 seats of which are elected from the 47
multi-seat prefectural districts and 50 of which are elected from a
single nationwide list with voters casting ballots by party; members
elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of
Representatives or Shugi-in (500 seats - 200 of which are elected from
11 regional blocks on a proportional representation basis and 300 of
which are elected from 300 single-seat districts; members elected by
popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: House of Councillors - last held 12 July 1998 (next to be
held NA July 2001); House of Representatives - last held 20 October
1996 (next to be held by October 2000)
election results: House of Councillors - percent of vote by party -
NA; seats by party - LDP 102, DPJ 47, JCP 23, Komeito 22, SDP 13,
Liberal Party 12, independents 26, others 7; note - the distribution
of seats as of December 1999 is as follows - LDP 105, DPJ 57, Komeito
24, JCP 23, SDP 13, Liberal Party 12, independents 6, others 12; House
of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -
LDP 240, NFP 142, DPJ 52, JCP 26, SDP 15, Sun Party 10, others 15;
note - the distribution of seats as of December 1999 is as follows -
LDP 267, DPJ 93, Komeito/Reform Club 48, Liberal Party 39, JCP 26, SDP
14, independents 9, others 4
Judicial branch
Supreme Court, chief justice is appointed by the
monarch after designation by the cabinet, all other justices are
appointed by the cabinet
Political parties and leaders
Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Yukio
HATOYAMA, leader, Tsutomu HATA, secretary general]; Japan Communist
Party or JCP ;
Komeito [Takenori KANZAKI, president, Tetsuzo FUYUSHIBA, secretary
general]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Yoshiro MORI, president,
Hiromu NONAKA, secretary general]; Liberal Party [Ichiro OZAWA,
president, Hirohisa FUJII, secretary general]; Reform Club [Tatsuo
OZAWA, leader, Katsuyuki ISHIDA, secretary general]; Social Democratic
Party or SDP [Takako DOI, chairperson, Sadao FUCHIGAMI, secretary
general]
note: subsequent to the last legislative elections, the New Frontier
Party or NFP and the Sun Party disbanded; in late 1997, the LP was
formed by former NFP members; the DPJ was formed by former members of
the SDP and Sakigake and, in April 1998, was joined by three
additional parties which had formed after the NFP disbanded; New Peace
Party and Komei merged to form Komeito in November 1998
International organization participation
AfDB, APEC, AsDB, Australia
Group, BIS, CCC, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO,
G- 5, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol,
IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW,
OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR,
UNRWA, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Shunji YANAI
chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:  (202) 238-6700
FAX:  (202) 328-2187
consulate(s) general: Hagatna (Guam), Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston,
Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City (Missouri),
Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland (Oregon), San
Francisco, and Seattle
consulate(s): Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands)
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas S. FOLEY
embassy: 10-5, Akasaka 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
mailing address: Unit 45004, Box 205, APO AP 96337-5004
telephone:  (3) 3224-5000
FAX:  (3) 3224-5856
consulate(s) general: Naha (Okinawa), Osaka-Kobe, Sapporo
consulate(s): Fukuoka, Nagoya
Flag description
white with a large red disk (representing the sun
without rays) in the center
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