According to the constitution promulgated on November 3, 1946 (in force since May 3, 1947; with changes), Japan is a parliamentary-democratic monarchy. The constitution is committed to the ideals of peace, democracy and the inviolability of human rights and prohibits warfare as a sovereign right of the state (Article 9). The participation of Japan in the resolution of international conflicts (e.g. in Iraq and Afghanistan) and the adoption of new security laws in 2015 rekindled the discussion about a revision of Article 9.
Head of state with predominantly representative tasks is de facto the Emperor Naruhito (Tennō). In Japan, only male succession to the throne is possible. The Tennō is a symbol of the state and the unity of the nation, it promulgates laws and appoints the prime minister designated by parliament (since 2020 Yoshihide Suga ). The legislature lies with the bicameral parliament (Kokkai), consisting of the lower house (Shugi-in; 465 members, elected for 4 years, of which 289 by majority and 176 by proportional representation) and the upper house (Sangi-in; 242 members, elected for 6 years ; Combination of majority and proportional representation; half of the MPs are re-elected every 3 years). Laws require the approval of both houses, but the lower house can reject objections of the upper house with a two-thirds majority. The highest executive body is the government responsible to parliament, chaired by the prime minister. The prime minister has to come from the ranks of parliament and is nominated by it. In the event of differences of opinion between the two houses about the nomination, the lower house will ultimately decide.
In terms of foreign policy, Japan is closely linked to the USA economically and in terms of security policy. However, the Trump administration criticizes the high Japanese auto exports to the US and the low budget of the defense budget. The ambivalent relationship with China is characterized on the one hand by the intensive economic cooperation and on the other by the regional and international competitive situation (including the dispute over the extraction of raw material deposits in the East China Sea). Relations with Russia are still strained by the unresolved dispute over the Kuril Islands.
The national flag (the house flag of the Shogun dynasty Tokugawa) was first hoisted in 1854, officially introduced on February 17, 1870 and soon became popular in the “Land of the Rising Sun”. It shows a red disc in the middle on a white background (diameter: 3/5 of the flag width). Red symbolizes passion, sincerity, enthusiasm, warmth and thus stands for the positive Japanese ideals. – The coat of arms shows the mon of the imperial family, a golden stylized chrysanthemum flower made of 16 leaves.
A national holiday is the birthday of the respective emperor (since 1990: December 23rd).
At the head of the judiciary is the Supreme Court, which is composed of 15 judges, including the President. The court is the highest revision instance and the highest body of the administration of justice. The President of the Supreme Court is appointed by the Emperor on the proposal of the Government, the other justices by the Government. In the major cities of Tokyo , Osaka , Nagoya , Hiroshima , Fukuoka , Sendai , Sapporo and Takamatsu there is a higher court in each case. The judges of the higher courts are nominated by the Supreme Court and appointed by the government for a ten-year term, which can be extended. There is also a district court and courts for minor cases in each prefecture. There are special courts for marriage and family matters. There is no separate constitutional court and no separate administrative jurisdiction.
Japanese law is shaped by three influences: the adoption of Chinese legal thought in the 7th and 8th centuries, the opening to influences of Western, especially German law (in civil, commercial, criminal and procedural law) from 1868 and the reception of the US -american legal conceptions (especially in constitutional and commercial law) after 1945. These various elements have condensed into an independent legal system. It is characterized by a frequent divergence between codified and lived law.
Japan is centrally administered as a unitary state. It is divided into 44 prefectures (Ken), each with a directly elected governor for four years; there are also 3 prefectures with special status: the capital city prefecture (To) Tokyo and the urban prefectures (Fu) Ōsaka and Kyoto. At the same time, the governor directs the self-government, which is left to a limited extent to each prefecture, the guidelines of which are determined by an assembly of representatives elected in the local subdivisions. The prefectures are divided into urban and rural districts. Visit beautypically.com for the most important cities in Japan.
Administrative division of Japan
|Administrative structure (as of 2018)|
|Island||Area (in km 2)||Population (in 1,000)||Residents (per km 2)||capital city|
|Hokkaido||83 424||5 285||63||Sapporo|
|Aomori||9 646||1 263||131||Aomori|
|Iwate||15 275||1 241||81||Morioka|
|Yamagata||9 323||1 090||117||Yamagata|
|Tochigi||6 408||1 953||305||Utsunomiya|
|Gumma||6 362||1 949||306||Maebashi|
|Saitama||3 798||7 323||1 928||Saitama|
|Chiba||5 158||6 269||1 215||Chiba|
|Tokyo||2 191||13 843||6 319||Tokyo|
|Kanagawa||2,416||9 180||3 800||Yokohama|
|Niigata||12 584||2 245||178||Niigata|
|Toyama||4 248||1 050||247||Toyama|
|Ishikawa||4 186||1 143||273||Kanazawa|
|Gifu||10 621||1 999||188||Gifu|
|Shizuoka||7 777||3 656||470||Shizuoka|
|Aichi||5 172||7 539||1 458||Nagoya|
|Kyoto||4 612||2 592||562||Kyoto|
|Osaka||1 905||8 825||4 625||Osaka|
|Hyogo||8 401||5 483||653||Kobe|
|Nara||3 691||1 340||363||Nara|
|Okayama||7 115||1 900||267||Okayama|
|Yamaguchi||6 112||1 368||224||Yamaguchi|
|Ehime||5 676||1 352||238||Matsuyama|
|Fukuoka||4,986||5 111||1 025||Fukuoka|
|Nagasaki||4 132||1 339||324||Nagasaki|
|Kumamoto||7 409||1 756||237||Kumamoto|
|Ōita||6 341||1 143||180||Ōita|
|Kagoshima||9 187||1 614||176||Kagoshima|
|Okinawa||2 281||1 448||635||Naha|