Key Figures

Chief of State:
Emperor Akihito
Head of Government:
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Overview

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
Japan Flag
Coat of Arms of Japan

Index of Economic Freedom

Grades each country on a scale of 0 to 100, based on ten freedoms, with 100 representing the greatest amount of economic autonomy from government intervention. Source: Heritage Foundation (2018)

Country Risk Rating

A2
The political and economic situation is good. A basically stable and efficient business environment nonetheless leaves room for improvement. Corporate default probability is low on average. Source: Coface (2018)

Government Branches

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle 1
Executive

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

Judicial

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.

10 years

Legislative

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

Regional Trade Blocs

International Organization Participation [2]

Environmental Agreements [3]

Tax Information [2]

Tax Authority:
National Tax Agency Japan
Tax Name:
Consumption Tax

Sources:

  1. ElectionGuide http://www.electionguide.org/
  2. EY, http://www.ey.com
  3. CIA World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
  4. U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/