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Japan Government 1999

    Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Japan

    Data code: JA

    Government type: constitutional monarchy

    Capital: Tokyo

    Administrative divisions: 47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gumma, 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

    Independence: 660 BC (traditional founding by Emperor Jimmu)

    National holiday: Birthday of the Emperor, 23 December (1933)

    Constitution: 3 May 1947

    Legal system: modeled after European civil law system with English-American influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)
    head of government: Prime Minister Keizo OBUCHI (since 30 July 1998)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the Diet designates the prime minister; the constitution requires that the prime minister must command a parliamentary majority, therefore, following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition in the House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister

    Legislative branch: bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of Councillors or Sangi-in (252 seats; one-half of the members elected every three years—76 seats of which are elected from the 47 multi-seat prefectural districts and 50 of which are elected from a single nationwide list with voters casting ballots by party; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Shugi-in (500 seats—200 of which are elected from 11 regional blocks on a proportional representation basis and 300 of which are elected from 300 single-seat districts; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: House of Councillors—last held 12 July 1998 (next to be held NA July 2001); House of Representatives—last held 20 October 1996 (next to be held by October 2000)
    election results: House of Councillors—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—LDP 102, DPJ 47, JCP 23, Komeito 22, SDP 13, Liberal Party 12, independents 26, others 7; note—the distribution of seats as of January 1999 is as follows—LDP 104, DPJ 56, Komeito 24, JCP 23, SDP 14, Liberal Party 12, independents 5, others 14; House of Representatives—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—LDP 240, NFP 142, DPJ 52, JCP 26, SDP 15, Sun Party 10, others 15; note—the distribution of seats as of January 1999 is as follows—LDP 266, DPJ 94, Komeito/Reform Club 52, Liberal Party 39, JCP 26, SDP 14, independents 5, others 4

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet, all other justices are appointed by the cabinet

    Political parties and leaders: Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Keizo OBUCHI, president, Yoshiro MORI, secretary general]; Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Naoto KAN, leader, Tsutomu HATA, secretary general]; Komeito [Takenori KANZAKI, president, Tetsuzo FUYUSHIBA, secretary general]; Liberal Party [Ichiro OZAWA, president, Hirohisa FUJII, secretary general]; Japan Communist Party or JCP [Tetsuzo FUWA, chairman, Kazuo SHII, secretary general]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Takako DOI, chairperson, Sadao FUCHIGAMI, secretary general]; Reform Club [Tatsuo OZAWA, leader, Katsuyuki ISHIDA, secretary general]
    note: subsequent to the last legislative elections, the New Frontier Party or NFP and the Sun Party disbanded; the DPJ was formed by former members of the SDP and Sakigake and, in April 1998, was joined by three additional parties which had formed after the NFP disbanded; New Peace Party and Komei merged to form Komeito in November 1998

    International organization participation: AfDB, APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNRWA, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Kunihiko SAITO
    chancery: 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 238-6700
    FAX: [1] (202) 328-2187
    consulate(s) general: Hagatna (Guam), Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City (Missouri), Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, and Seattle
    consulate(s): Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands)

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas S. FOLEY
    embassy: 10-5, Akasaka 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
    mailing address: Unit 45004, Box 258, APO AP 96337-5004
    telephone: [81] (3) 3224-5000
    FAX: [81] (3) 3505-1862
    consulate(s) general: Naha (Okinawa), Osaka-Kobe, Sapporo
    consulate(s): Fukuoka, Nagoya

    Flag description: white with a large red disk (representing the sun without rays) in the center

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)