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Japanese Government


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  • 1. Japanese Government By Ian, Alex, Jaime and Ryan
  • 2. Executive Branch
    • The cabinet oversees the nation (through legal action, budgetary means etc...similar to our executive branch)
    • The cabinet consists of the Prime minister (the “chief”) and 20 ministers of state
    • The executive branch reports to the Diet.
    • The Prime Minister is selected by both houses of the Diet
    • The Emperor formally appoints the Prime Minister to office
    Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
  • 3.
    • The Emperor has no powers related to government
    • He has few duties which are closely regulated by the Constitution.
    • i.e. he formally appoints the Prime Minister to office, but the Constitution requires him to appoint the candidate "designated by the Diet”
    • His additional duties only apply with the consent of the Cabinet.
    The Emperor Emperor Akihito Tsugu-no-miya
  • 4. The Legislature
    • The National Diet of Japan
    • 2 parts: House of Representatives and the House of Councilors
    • The House of Rep. is more powerful and can overrule the House of Councilors
    • The “highest organ of state power”
    • Pass legislation, control budget decisions, regulate treaties and control the cabinet and the
    • prime minister
  • 5. Judicial Branch
    • Independent of the other two branches
    • It is comprised of multiple levels of courts
    • The Supreme Court has the ultimate judicial authority
    • The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and 14 other justices
    • Most cases are handled by district courts
    • Summary courts deal with traffic violations, etc.
    • Constitution incorporates a bill of rights
    • The Supreme Court has the right of judicial review
    • Their courts do NOT use a jury structure
  • 6. Constitution of 1947
    • Set up during the Allied Occupation after World War II
    • Instates a parliamentary system
    • Takes all power away from the Emperor of Japan excepting that he is a figure-head (as stated in the Constitution, he is only a “…symbol of the State and of the unity of the people…”)
    • The Constitution is divided into 103 articles, which are in eleven chapters
    • Thirty-one articles are devoted to basic human rights (included in Article 13 of the Japanese Constitution is a guarantee to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”)
  • 7. Elections
    • A system of democracy is used (just like the United States)
    • The voting age is twenty years
    • Japan has a multi-party system with parties including the “Democratic Party of Japan”, “Liberal Democratic Party”, “Japanese Communist Party”, etc.
    • Candidates gain support via Kôenkai , which are personal support groups
    • Campaigns are only 12 days long, and involve strict restrictions (such as a limited amount of printed material allowed, only one campaigning car is allowed, etc)
  • 8. Local Governments
    • Local Autonomy Law (1947): established local gov’ts
    • Divided into 47 prefectures
    • Prefecture: a sub-national gov’t
    • Led by an elected governor and a single chamber parliament
    • Smaller forms of gov’t are cities, towns, rural districts and villages which are headed by an elected governor and an assembly or council