Chief of State: Emperor Akihito
Head of Government: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Government Name: Japan
Constitution: Adopted: 1946; Contains a pacifist doctrine in Article 9 that is considered to be more binding and explicit than that found even in the charter of the UN. No amendment has yet been made to Japan's constitution.
Government Type: Parliamentary Government with a Constitutional Monarchy
|Main Powers||Election Process||Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/|
According to the constitution, the emperor acts as the "symbol of the state and of the unity of the people". The prime minister holds various constitutional roles such as signing laws/orders, presenting bills, and making reports on domestic and foreign relations to the Diet.
The emperor is hereditary. The prime minister is appointed by parliament.
Immediately after legislative elections
Saiko Saibansho is the highest court of the land and is in charge of holding the constitution.
The supreme court chief justice is designated by the cabinet, and appointed by the monarch. Associate justices are appointed by the cabinet and confirmed by the monarch. All justices are reviewed in a popular referendum at the first general election of the house of representatives following each judge's appointment and every 10 years afterward.
The national Diet is responsible for making laws, approving the annual national budget, and initiating the drafting of constitutional amendments. The house of councilors is the higher house and can delay the adoption of a budget or treaty.
The house of councilors has 96 members who are elected through an open-list proportional representation system. The national Diet has 300 members who are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies and another 18 members who are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system.
House of Councilors: 6 years; National Diet: 4 years
Foreign Policy Trends: Japan is the world's third-largest economy and a major economic power both in Asia and globally. Japan has diplomatic relations with nearly all independent nations and has been an active member of the United Nations since 1956. Japanese foreign policy has aimed to promote peace and prosperity for the Japanese people by working closely with the West and supporting the United Nations. In recent years, the Japanese public has shown a substantially greater awareness of security issues and increasing support for the Self Defense Forces. However, there are still significant political and psychological constraints on strengthening Japan's security profile. All postwar Japanese governments have relied on a close relationship with the United States as the foundation of their foreign policy and have depended on the Mutual Security Treaty for strategic protection.
Regional Trade Blocs: APEC
Treaties: No multilateral military treaties
International Organization Participation Source: CIA World Factbook
|OPCW||OSCE||Pacific Alliance||Paris Club||PCA||PIF|
Note: Click table to see details
Environmental Agreements Source: CIA World Factbook
|Antarctic Seals||Antarctic Treaty||Antarctic-Environmental Protocol||Antarctic-Marine Living Resources||Biodiversity||Climate Change|
|Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol||Desertification||Endangered Species||Environmental Modification||Hazardous Wastes||Law of the Sea|
|Marine Dumping||Ozone Layer Protection||Ship Pollution||Tropical Timber 06||Wetlands||Whaling|
Note: Click table to see details
Tax Authority: National Tax Agency Japan
Tax Name: Consumption Tax