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Japan: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Japan
local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku
local short form: Nihon/Nippon
CapitalTokyo 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
Constitutionprevious 1890; latest approved 6 October 1946, adopted 3 November 1946, effective 3 May 1947 (2013)
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 is appointed by the prime minister
elections: Diet, the bicameral legislature, designates the prime minister; constitution requires that the prime minister commands parliamentary majority; following legislative elections, the leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition in House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister; the monarchy is hereditary
Flag descriptionwhite with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center
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)
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)
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
Legislative branchbicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of Councillors or Sangi-in (242 seats - members elected for fixed six-year terms; 146 members in multi-seat constituencies and 96 by proportional representation) half elected every three years; and the House of Representatives or Shugi-in (480 seats - members elected for maximum four-year terms; 300 in single-seat constituencies; 180 members by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs); the prime minister has the right to dissolve the House of Representatives at any time with the concurrence of the cabinet
elections: House of Councillors - last held on 21 July 2013 (next to be held in July 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 16 December 2012 (next to be held by 15 December 2016)
election results: House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LPD 115, DPJ 59, New Komeito 20, Your Party 18, JCP 11, JRP 9, SDP 3, others 4, independents 3
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party (by proportional representation) - LDP 31.6%, DPJ 16.6%, JRP 22.2%, New Komeito 12.2%, Your Party 7.7%, JCP 4.4%, TRP 3.9%, others 1.4%; seats by party LDP 294, DPJ 57, JRP 54, New Komeito 31, Your Party 18, TPJ 9, JCP 8, others 4, independents 5
International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), 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, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National holidayBirthday of Emperor AKIHITO, 23 December (1933)
Political pressure groups and leadersother: business groups; trade unions
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Party of Japan or DPJ (Banri KAIEDA)
Japan Communist Party or JCP (Kazuo SHII)
Japan Restoration Party or JRP (Shintaro ISHIHARA)
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP (Shinzo ABE)
New Komeito or NK (Natsuo YAMAGUCHI)
People's Life Party or PF (Ichiro OZAWA)
Social Democratic Party or SDP (Tadatomo YOSHIDA)
Tomorrow Party of Japan or TPJ (Tomoko ABE)
Your Party or YP (Yoshimi WATANABE)
Suffrage20 years of age; universal
Government typea parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Kenichiro SASAE (since 19 November 2012)
chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 238-6700
FAX: (1) (202) 328-2187
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Agana (Guam), Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville (TN), New York, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle
consulate(s): Anchorage (AK), Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands)
National anthemname: "Kimigayo" (The Emperor"s Reign)
lyrics/music: unknown/Hiromori HAYASHI
note: adopted 1999; in use as 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
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)red sun disc; chrysanthemum
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Caroline Bouvier KENNEDY (since 19 November 2013)
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