Politics of Japan
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics of Japan
Politics of JapanBenedict (Viktor) Gombocz
Geography of Japan Location: Eastern Asia, an island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula Area - includes Bonin Islands (Ogasawara-gunto), Daito-shoto, Minami-jima, Okino-tori-shima, Ryukyu Islands (Nansei-shoto), and Volcano Islands (Kazan-retto): Total: 377,915 sq km Country comparison to the world: 62 Land: 364,485 sq km Water: 13,430 sq km Area – comparative: Slightly smaller than California
Japan: Physical map and Tokyo
Introducing Japan’s politicalsystem The Japanese political system is carried out in a structure of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy in which the PM heads the government and the head of the Cabinet that supervises the executive branch. Legislative power is vested in the Diet, which comprises the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors. Japan’s politics encompasses the system of multiple parties. The judicial authority is vested in the Supreme Court and lower courts. In scholarly reviews, Japan is by and large regarded as a constitutional monarchy with a structure of civil law. Japan’s constitution identifies the emperor as “the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people.” He/she exercises official responsibilities and does not hold real power, much less reserve powers. Political power is held largely by the PM and other elected officials of the Diet. The Imperial Throne is succeeded by an official of the Imperial House of Japan as designated by the law. Sovereignty is vested in the people of Japan under the constitution. While his official status is debated, the Emperor, on ambassadorial occasions, tends to act as the head of state (with prevalent public support).
Introducing Japan’s political system –cont. The PM, who is the executive branch’s leader, is nominated by the Emperor as directed by the Diet. He/she must be an affiliate of either house of the Diet and a resident. The Cabinet members are appointed by the PM; they must likewise be residents. Since the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has ruled Japan, it has been tradition that the leader of that party serves as PM. The Cabinet is grouped of the PM and ministers of state, and is liable to the Diet. The PM has the authority to nominate and dismiss the ministers, of whom a majority must be affiliates of the Diet. Between 1955-2009, the liberal-conservative LDP governed Japan, excluding a very brief coalition government created from the concurring opposition parties in 1993; in the late 1990s and the late 2000s, the biggest opposition party was the social liberal Democratic Party of Japan.
Government of Japan Capital (and largest city): Tokyo Official languages: None National language: Japanese Demonym: Japanese Government: Unitary parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy Emperor: Akihito Prime Minister: Shinzō Abe Legislature: National Diet Upper house: House of Councillors Lower house: House of Representatives
Japan’s political system: Emperor The Emperor of Japan is the formal monarch in the Japanese constitutional monarchy and leads the Japanese Imperial Family. According to the 1947 constitution, which suspended the Empire of Japan, he/she is “the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people.” Emperor Akihito is the current emperor. According to the constitution’s articles 6 and 7, the emperor has the following nominal powers: to nominate PM as chosen by the Diet. to nominate the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as chosen by the Cabinet. to promulgate constitution, regulations, government orders, and treaties with the guidance and consent of the Cabinet. to convoke the Diet with the guidance and consent of the Cabinet. to dissolve the House of Representatives with the guidance and consent of the Cabinet. to proclaim the general election of the Diet with the guidance and consent of the Cabinet. to indicate Ministers of State with the guidance and consent of the Cabinet. to grant pardons with the guidance and consent of the Cabinet. to grant honors with the guidance and consent of the Cabinet. to receive foreign ambassadors with the guidance and consent of the Cabinet.
Japan’s political system: LegislativeBranch In Japan’s political system, the House of Councillors is the upper house of the Japanese Diet, which comprises 242 affiliates. The term of office for the elected officials to the upper house is six years. The House of Representatives, the lower house, is the more powerful house in the Diet with 480 affiliates; the term of office for this house is restricted to four years. Japanese citizens, who have attained the age of 20, may partake in the election procedure on account of widespread adult franchise. The minimum age of election to the House of Representatives is 25; the minimum age of election to the House of Councillors is 30.
Japan’s political system: ExecutiveBranch As head of the Cabinet, PMs lead the executive branch. The PM is named by the Emperor of Japan after he/she is elected by the Diet affiliates. In order to remain in this post, the PM is required to have the confidence from the House of Representatives. He/she names and discharge the Ministers of State; the exact translation of the Japanese name for the post of PM is the Minister for the Comprehensive Administration of the Cabinet or Minister that Presides over the Cabinet. Shinzō Abe is the current PM of Japan since 26 December 2012.
Japan’s political system: Judicial Branch In Japan, the judiciary is independent. With the consent of the PM and the cabinet, the Emperor names the higher judicial affiliates. The judicial system of Japan – based on customary law, civil law, and Anglo- American common law – comprises numerous levels of courts; the Supreme Court is the absolute judicial power. The Constitution of Japan, which was approved on 3 May 1947, includes a bill of rights resembling the United States Bill of Rights; the Supreme Court has the right of judicial review. Courts in Japan use a modified jury structure where there is neither administrative nor claims courts. Because of the judicial structure’s basis, the court’s decisions are made in line with legal decrees. It is only Supreme Court decisions that have any direct outcome on later interpretation of the law. In Japan, there exist five kinds of courts: Supreme Court, High Court, District Court, Family Court, and Summary Court.
Japan’s political system: Majorparties Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Jiyū Minshu-tō 自由民主党, or Jimin-tō 自民党 Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Minshu-tō 民主党 ("Democratic Party") Japan Restoration Party (JRP) Nippon Ishin no Kai 日本維新の 会 New Komeito (NKP) Kōmeitō 公 明党 ("Clean Government", "Fairness" or "Justice Party")
Liberal Democratic Party Commonly abbreviated to LDP, Jimintō (自民党) or Lib Dems; right of centre conservative political party in Japan. Is one of the most consistently successful political parties in the world. Has governed Japan since its founding in 1955, with the exception of a short period from 1993-1994, and between 2009-2012; reclaimed control of government in the 2012 general election. Has 294/480 seats in the House of Representatives and 83/242 seats in the House of Councillors. Is not to be mistaken for the now extinct Liberal Party (自由党, Jiyūtō), which merged with the Democratic Party of Japan, the biggest opposition party, in November 2003.
Democratic Party of Japan Centre-left political party in Japan; founded on 8 January 1998 with the merger of various opposition parties. Became the governing party in the House of Representatives after the 2009 general election; defeated the long ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and took the biggest number of seats in both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors. After winning a landslide victory in 2009, it was expelled from government by the LDP in the 2012 general election, but it kept 57 seats in the House of Representatives; still had 88 seats in the House of Councillors. Implemented numerous progressive measures including the provision of free public education through high school and raises in child rearing subsidies. Is not to be mistaken with the now extinct Japan Democratic Party that merged with the Liberal Party to found the Liberal Democratic Party; is also different from another Democratic Party, which was founded in 1947 and dissolved in 1950.
The End (終わり)