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Japan Government Profile 2018

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Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Japan
local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku
local short form: Nihon/Nippon
etymology: the English word for Japan comes via the Chinese name for the country "Cipangu"; both Nihon and Nippon mean "where the sun originates" and are frequently translated as "Land of the Rising Sun"
Government typeparliamentary constitutional monarchy
Capitalname: Tokyo
geographic coordinates: 35 41 N, 139 45 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, 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
Independence3 May 1947 (current constitution adopted as amendment to Meiji Constitution); notable earlier dates: 660 B.C. (traditional date of the founding of the nation by Emperor JIMMU); 29 November 1890 (Meiji Constitution provides for constitutional monarchy)
National holidayBirthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December (1933); note - celebrates the birthday of the current emperor
Constitutionprevious 1890; latest approved 6 October 1946, adopted 3 November 1946, effective 3 May 1947; note - the constitution has not been amended since its enactment in 1947 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on German model; system also reflects Anglo-American influence and Japanese traditions; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Japan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)
head of government: Prime Minister Shinzo ABE (since 26 December 2012); Deputy Prime Minister Taro ASO (since 26 December 2012)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; the leader of the majority party or majority coalition in the House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of Councillors or Sangi-in (242 seats; 146 members directly elected in multi-seat districts by simple majority vote and 96 directly elected in a single national constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms with half the membership renewed every 3 years) and the House of Representatives or Shugi-in (475 seats; 295 members directly elected in single-seat districts by simple majority vote and 180 directly elected in multi-seat districts by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms); note - Japan's amended electoral law, changed in May 2017, reduced the total number of House seats to 465 - the number of House of Representatives seats in single-seat districts is reduced to 289 and the number of House of Representatives seats in multi-seat districts reduced to 176; the change is effective for the December 2018 House of Representatives election
note: the Diet in June 2017 enacted a law - effective in mid-July - that redraws Japan's electoral district boundaries and reduces the current 275 seats in the House of Representatives to 265; the new law, which cuts 6 seats in single-seat districts and 4 in multi-seat districts, is reportedly intended to reduce voting disparities between densely and sparsely populated voting districts; this law will apply to the next election
elections: House of Councillors - last held on 10 July 2016 (next to be held in July 2019); House of Representatives - last held on 22 October 2017 (next to be held by 22 October 2021)
election results: House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 55, DP 32, Komeito 14, JCP 6, Osaka Ishin no Kai (Initiatives from Osaka) 7, PLPTYF 1, SDP 1, independent 5
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 284, CDP 55, New Hope 50, Komeito 29, JCP 12, JIP 11, SDP 2, independents 22
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Saiko saibansho (consists of the chief justice and 14 associate justices); note - the Supreme Court has jurisdiction in constitutional issues
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice designated by the Cabinet and appointed by the monarch; associate justices 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
subordinate courts: 8 High Courts (Koto-saiban-sho), each with a Family Court (Katei-saiban-sho); 50 District Courts (Chiho saibansho), with 203 additional branches; 438 Summary Courts (Kani saibansho)
Political parties and leadersConstitutional Democratic Party of Japan or CDP [Yukio EDANO]
Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Kohei OTSUKA]
Group of Reformists [Sakihito OZAWA]
Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]
Japan Innovation Party or JIP [Ichiro MATSUI]
Kibo no To or New Hope [Yuriko KOIKE]
Komeito [Natsuo YAMAGUCHI]
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Shinzo ABE]
Liberal Party [Ichiro OZAWA] (formerly People's Life Party & Taro Yamamoto and Friends or PLPTYF)
New Renaissance Party [Hiroyuki ARAI]
Party for Japanese Kokoro or PJK [Masashi NAKANO]
Social Democratic Party or SDP [Tadatomo YOSHIDA]
The Assembly to Energize Japan and the Independents [Kota MATSUDA]
Political pressure groups and leadersother: business groups; trade unions
International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, CPLP (associate), EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Kenichiro SASAE (since 14 January 2013)
chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 238-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2187
consulate(s) general: Anchorage (AK), Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver (CO), Detroit (MI), Honolulu (HI), Houston, Las Vegas (NV), Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville (TN), New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City (OK), Orlando (FL), Philadelphia (PA), Phoenix (AZ), Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle, Saipan (Puerto Rico), Tamuning (Guam)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador William F. "Bill" HAGERTY, IV (since 31 August 2017)
embassy: 1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
mailing address: Unit 9800, Box 300, APO AP 96303-0300
telephone: [81] (03) 3224-5000
FAX: [81] (03) 3505-1862
consulate(s) general: Naha (Okinawa), Osaka-Kobe, Sapporo
consulate(s): Fukuoka, Nagoya
Flag descriptionwhite with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center
National symbol(s)red sun disc, chrysanthemum; national colors: red, white
National anthemname: "Kimigayo" (The Emperor"s Reign)
lyrics/music: unknown/Hiromori HAYASHI
note: adopted 1999; unofficial national anthem since 1883; oldest anthem lyrics in the world, dating to the 10th century or earlier; there is some opposition to the anthem because of its association with militarism and worship of the emperor

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018