Japan is a country located on the continent of Asia. The country operates as a constitutional monarchy, meaning that the nation is ruled by a prime minister. The prime minister of Japan is appointed by the emperor, and the prime minister seeks political support from the Cabinet. The headquarters of the Japanese government is located in Chiyoda ward, which is in the city of Tokyo.
The nation of Japan adheres to the guidelines put forth in the Constitution. Put into action in 1947, the Japanese Constitution is applicable to all forty-seven administrative regions of the country. The emperor is unlike the prime minister in that the emperor has absolutely no say in the political realm of government. Instead, the emperor acts as a support system for the prime minister, and the Cabinet of Japan makes decisions for the country.
Much like the Cabinet in the United States government, the Japanese Cabinet is responsible for guiding the politics of the country. The prime minister is considered part of the Cabinet, and the prime minister rises to power after being elected by the National Diet. Another duty of the emperor is to swear the prime minister into office.
The Japanese government has legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The legislature is comprised of the National Diet, of which there are two houses. The House of Representatives and the House of Councillors make up the legislative branch. The judicial branch of the Japanese government is comprised of the Supreme court, as well as the smaller courts. The executive branch in Japan is denoted by the Cabinet, including the prime minister.
The Emperor of Japan
Just as the emperor assists the prime minister and appoints the prime minister to power in the first place, the emperor is also responsible for indicting Supreme Court chief justice into office as well. The prime minister is elected by the National Diet but the chief justice is actually chosen by the Cabinet. The emperor is more of a symbolic role than anything else.
Everything about the duties of an emperor relates to diplomacy and ceremonies. Prior to all the wars that are part of Japan's history, the emperor was the sole source of guidance, decisions, and power. Before the wars subsided, sovereignty rested in the hands of the emperor. The position and title of Japanese emperor is familial, so the role is passed down from a father to his son upon the father's passing.
The chronological history of wars in Japan is as follows…
- Boxer Rebellion of 1899
- Russo-Japanese War of 1904
- World War I in 1914
- The Siberian Intervention in 1918
- The Japanese Invasion of Manchuria in 1931
- The Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937
- The Invasion of French Indochina in 1940
- World War II in 1941
- Operation Masterdom in 1945
- The Battle of Amami-Oshima in 2001
- The Iraq War in 2003
- Operation Ocean Shield in 2009
The Japanese Cabinet
The Cabinet of Japan is composed of seventeen ministers and the prime minister. The lower-level ministers are appointed to their positions by the prime minister, and they are also at the hands of the prime minister when it comes to possibly losing their jobs, too.
The Cabinet Office, as well as the eleven associated ministries. The Board of Audit is another element of the Japanese Cabinet. They quite literally audit work done and performed by the Japanese government. The Cabinet is responsible for electing the members of the Supreme Court, with the sole exception being the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who is chosen by the emperor himself.
The National Diet of Japan
As mentioned, the National Diet is made up of two houses. The House of Representatives is considered the lower house, and the House of Councilors is considered the higher house. There are four hundred eighty members in the House of Representatives. There are two systems of electing members to the House of Representatives.
The first system is by way of a single-seat constituency, and the other one hundred eighty are elected by way of the proportional representation system. This is similar to the US House of Representatives because, in Japan, the system of reelecting representatives to the House is based on population size.
However, the difference between Japan and the United States in this regard is that the US is divided up into fifty states, whereas the Japanese nation is separated into eleven regions known as electoral blocks. Depending on the population size of the individual electoral blocks, each region will be represented by anywhere between six and thirty representatives in the House. The members of the House of Representatives are in office for four years at a time, though they are subjected to possible termination should there be a reason they are no longer well-suited for their position.
The House of Councilors is made up of a smaller number of representatives than the House of Representatives. There are two hundred forty-two people in the House of Councilors. and they are elected in a similar fashion as those in the House of Representatives. Ninety-six members of the House of Councilors are elected via proportional representation systems, while one hundred forty-six people are selected from forty-seven distinct constituencies.
Members of this House have office lifetimes of six years in total, but half of the House of Councilors are exchanged every three years. So, the individual members do not remain the same for six years, but instead, half are replaced every three years, which is great for making sure that new thoughts and ideas are permitted rather than having a country under the same councilors for six years at a time.