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Japan Government
Capital:
Tokyo
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Japan
Government type:
constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government
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 Emperor AKIHITO, 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)
note: following the resignation of Prime Minister Yoshiro MORI, Junichiro KOIZUMI was elected as the new president of the majority Liberal Democratic Party and soon thereafter designated by the Diet to become 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
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister Junichiro KOIZUMI (since 26 April 2001)
Legislative branch:
bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of Councillors or Sangi-in (242 seats - members elected for six-year terms; half reelected every three years; 144 members in multi-seat constituencies and 98 by proportional representation); House of Representatives or Shugi-in (480 seats - members elected for four-year terms; 300 in single-seat constituencies; 180 members by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs)
election results: House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - LPD 47.52%, DPJ 33.89%, Komeito 9.92%, JCP 3.72%, SDP 2.07%, others 2.88%; seats by party - LDP 115, DPJ 82, Komeito 24, JCP 9, SDP 5, others 7
note: the Liberal Party merged with the Democratic Party of Japan in September 2003; the New Conservative Party merged with the Liberal Democratic Party following the election in November 2003 (2004)
: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - LDP 49.38%, DPJ 36.88%, Komeito 7.09%, JCP 1.88%, SDP 1.25%, NCP .84%; seats by party - LDP 237, DPJ 177, Komeito 34, JCP 9, SDP 6, NCP 4, others 13; distribution of seats as of 13 November 2003 was: LDP 244, DPJ 177, Komeito 34, JCP 9, SDP 6, others 10
elections: House of Councillors - last held 11 July 2004 (next to be held in July 2007); House of Representatives - last held 9 November 2003 (next election by November 2007)
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 [Katsuya OKADA, leader; Hirohisa FUJII, secretary general]; Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII, chairman; Tadayoshi ICHIDA, secretary general]; Komeito [Takenori KANZAKI, president; Tetsuzo FUYUSHIBA, secretary general]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Junichiro KOIZUMI, president; Shinzo ABE, secretary general]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA, chairperson; Seiji MATAICHI, secretary general]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
AfDB, APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EBRD, FAO, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Paris Club, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISET, UNMOVIC, UNRWA, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ryozo KATO
consulate(s) general: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Hagatna (Guam), Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City (Missouri), Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, and Seattle
consulate(s): Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands)
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2187
chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 238-6700
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Howard H. BAKER, Jr.
embassy: 10-5 Akasaka 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
mailing address: Unit 45004, Box 258, APO AP 96337-5004
telephone: [81] (03) 3224-5000
FAX: [81] (03) 3505-1862
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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