Japan's four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. The Ryukyu chain to the southwest was US-occupied from 1945 to 1972, when it reverted to Japanese control, and the Kurils to the northeast are Russian-occupied.
There are no administrative courts or claims courts. Because of the judicial system's basis, court decisions are made in accordance with legal statutes.
Since the mid `90 the second place was taken by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).
†Land area: 152,411 sq
mi (394,744 sq km);
†Total area: 145,882 sq
mi (377,835 sq km)
oJapan is an
o34,751 km (21,593 mi)
oWater: 3,091 km ²
National Name: Nipon
National Holiday: Birthday of Emperor Akihito,
Monetary unit: Yen (the basic unit of money in Japan;
equal to 100 sen)
Regions: 47 regions; Each contains several
prefectures, except the Hokkaidō region, which covers
Provinces: Japan does not use provinces anymore.
However, it is split into 47 prefectures.
Population (2010 est.): 126,804,433 (growth rate: -
0.24%); birth rate: 7.4/1000; infant mortality rate:
2.8/1000; life expectancy: 82.1; density per sq km: 339
Ethnicity/race: Japanese 99%; Korean, Chinese,
Brazillian, Filipino & other 1% (2004)
Religions: Shintoist and Buddhist 84%, other 16%
(including Christian 0.7%)
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Tokyo, 35,327,000
(metro. area), 8,483,050 (city proper)
Other large cities: Yokohama, 3,494,900 (part of
Tokyo metro. area); Osaka, 11,286,000 (metro. area),
2,597,000 (city proper); Nagoya, 2,189,700; Sapporo,
1,848,000; Kobe, 1,529,900 (part of Osaka metro. area);
Kyoto, 1,470,600 (part of Osaka metro. area); Fukuoka,
1,368,900; Kawasaki, 1,276,200 (part of Tokyo metro.
area); Hiroshima, 1,132,700
• Official Name: PostWar Constitution or Peace
• Form of Government: Constitutional monarchy
with a parliamentary government (since 1945)
• Unitary System
• Legislature: National Diet of Japan; two houses:
the House of Representatives of Japan and the
House of Councillors.
• Multiparty System
• Constitution: May 3, 1947
Head of State: Emperor Head of Government: Prime
Emperor Akihito “a.k.a” Akihito
House of the Representatives
House of Councillors
• Consists of two houses: the House of
Representatives (480 members) of Japan
and the House of Councillors (242
• Both houses of the Diet are directly
elected under a parallel voting system.
• The National Diet of Japan is Japan's
• The Diet has the legislative function of
tabling and passing of Bills.
• It has several powers not given to but is
voted down by the House of Councillors,
the House of Representatives can
override the decision of the other
• By the Constitution, the Diet is
the most powerful from the three
• The Diet may direct the Emperor
in the appointment and removal
of the chiefs of the executives
and judicial members.
• The Japanese parliament is called
• The members of the Diet are
elected by the Japanese people.
• Bicameral legislature
• The most powerful house in the
Japanese Diet is the lower house
• Consists of several levels of
courts, with the Supreme Court
(final judicial authority), as drawn
up on May 3, 1947.
• Includes a bill of rights similar to
the United States Bill of Rights.
• Supreme Court has the right of
• Independent of the other two
• Judges are appointed by the
Emperor as directed by the
• The highest court is the Supreme
• The five types of Courts are
• district courts
• high courts
• family courts
• summary courts
• Supreme Court
• Use a modified jury system
• Judicial system - drawn from:
• customary law
• civil law
• Anglo-American common
• A great number of political parties which represents
different tendencies and ideas.
• Two parties dominated the political scene: The Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) and the Socialist Democratic
• Multiparty System
• The Liberal Democratic Party, LDP (center-right)
• The Democratic Party of Japan, DPJ or DP (center-left)
• Despite its small size, Japan is a major economic power in the
modern world, it currently has the 3rd largest economy in the
entire world on trailing behind only The USA and The Peoples
Republic of China.
• Japan has some cultural philosophies that they apply to their
economy and that could possibly be a reason for much of their
success in the economic sector.
• For instance they have a principle called "Nemawashi" which
is where before making any major change in business you
gather the support and input from all those involved whether
it be a manager or a low level employee, by doing this you
gain their support and it makes the change that much easier.
This adaptability helps them to stay competitive in the world
• Japan does not have much suitable land for agriculture but the
land that they do use has a very high yield and most of it stays
in country. Its main crop is rice and it is heavily subsidized so
that they are self sufficient and there are high tariffs on any
rice imported to decrease competition in the market.
• Japan's largest imports are raw materials for production as
well as oil to fuel their machinery and vehicles. Another major
import that can not be forgotten is the foodstuffs that they
import, things such as meat and wheat which are vital
because of Japan's lack of suitable agricultural land. Japan's
largest import partners are The United States and The People
Republic of China.
• The main power behind Japan's economy is its manufacturing
industry. They are world renown for being at the forefront in
certain industries technologically.
• In order to support this large manufacturing industry Japan has
focused on maintaining its infrastructure by pumping money into
the amount of roads they have and by investing power in alternative
means of energy so that it does not depend on foreign fossil fuels as
much. Japan also has a very efficient high speed train industry that is
famous for being nearly always on time.
• Japan also exports a great deal of things as well but by far its too
largest exports are automobiles and consumer electronics. Japanese
automobiles are sold worldwide and are famous for being reliable
and having low cost. Japan's largest export partners are also The
United States and The Peoples Republic of China.
• Japan has one of the worlds largest economies and is able to do so
with its mastery of manufacturing and an investment infrastructure
that is unparalleled and all signs point to continued success for them
in these markets in the future.
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
• member state of the United Nations
• non-permanent member of the Security Council
• plays an important role in East Asia
• Japanese Constitution prohibits the use of military forces to
wage war against other countries. However, the government
maintains "Self-Defense Forces" which include air, land and
• member of the G8 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
• developed relations with ASEAN as a member of "ASEAN plus
three" and the East Asia Summit
• major donor in international aid and development efforts
• has territorial disputes with Russia over the Kuril Islands
(Northern Territories), with South Korea over Liancourt
Rocks (known as "Dokdo" in Korea, "Takeshima" in
Japan), with China and Taiwan over the Senkaku Islands
and with China over the status of Okinotorishima
• In recent years, Japan has an ongoing dispute
with North Korea over its abduction of Japanese
citizens and nuclear weapons program.
• The Japanese and European Connections have a history of
• Japan and the European Union (EU) date back to 1959. They
share common values and have a strong trade relationship,
particularly in investment flows.
• Other than the slight time period during World War II,
Japanese relations with most European countries has been
really quite strong. In fact some European nations have had
established relations with Japan since the 1600’s. Both Spain
and The United Kingdom first had relations with Japan in the
early 1600’s. However, these relations changed with Japan’s
policy shift in 1641 to Sakoku. Under this policy Japan had a
closed society where no foreign relations with outside
countries was accepted. During this unusual time period of a
few centuries from 1641 to 1853, the only European influence
was a Dutch trading post in Nagasaki. Japan’s entire society
was closed off to most of the developed world at the time.
• After the Sakoku ended Japan resumed formal ties first with The
United Kingdom in 1854 and followed thereafter with Germany in
1861, Switzerland in 1864, Denmark in 1867 and Spain in 1868; most
of the rest of Europe followed shortly thereafter.
• Relations were obvioulsy significantly strained during WWII, as the
Japanese aligned themselves with Germany and Italy causing of
course a significant rift between most of Europe and Japan. Post
World War II ties with Japan and Europe have been on the rise. Both
Japan and Europe have renewed desire for stronger economic and
political relations with the each other. Although cultural ties with
Japan and Western Europe grew during the 1980s, the economic
connections between Japan and Europe remained by far the most
important element of Japanese-West European relations throughout
the decade. Events in West European relations, as well as political,
economic and military matters, became topics of concern to most
Japanese officials because of the long term affects for Japan.
• With these goals in mind it was that on July of 1991, Japan’s Prime
Minister Toshiki Kaifu signed a joint statement of mutual relations
with the Dutch prime minister and head of the European
Community Council and with the European Commission president.
This statement was to pledge closer Japanese-European relations on
foreign relations, scientific and technological cooperation, assistance
for developing countries, and efforts to reduce trade conflicts.
Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials hoped that this
agreement would broaden Japanese-European political connections
and raise them above the previous trade disputes that were
harbored in years past.
• The relationship between the United Kingdom and Japan began in
1600 with the arrival of William Adams (Adams the Pilot) on the
shores of Kyūshū. After the policy of Sakoku ended and the
connections were re-established with the signing of the treaty of
1854, Japan and the United Kingdom saw the resumption of ties.
Other than the broken bond of the Second World War, the mutual
relations between the United Kingdom and Japan remain very strong