Japan Today Political Structure
Although Japan is a small country in size, one cannot underestimate the power that Japan has in today's society. Japan is the world's second most powerful economic country in the nation behind the United States. Over the last several decades, Japan has emerged from a devastated and defeated country to a political democracy, which holds a powerful economic standing in the world. Japans government is mostly composed of one-party dominance. This party is known as the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which will be discussed in more detail. There are several other democratic, socialist, and communist parties, which are a minority in Japan compares to the LDP. These different parties are the following: Japan Socialist Party (JSP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Japan Communist Party (JCP), and the Komeito or Clean Government Party. Japan has a parliamentary government, which has three braches: judicial, executive, and legislative branch. There is still a debate to whether Japan is a constitutional monarchy or a republic. There is also a debate to whether the leading party (LDP) will continue to hold power in the government of Japan. The question is how and Marquez 2
why is Japan still being lead by the LDP and what does the future hold for Japan's democracy? While many argue that the LDP is Japan's most able-bodied party, instead it comes down to the fact that the LDP has excellent strategy and knows what it takes to keep seats in the house and be the majority ruling party. The future of the LDP lies on the actual members of the LDP. A split between the members of the LDP or society losing confidence in the LDP will be the end to this party.
Japans political ways are very similar to the western way of ruling a country. The legislative branch is based in the Diet. The Diet (Kokkai) is divided into the House of Councillors (Sangi in), which consists of two hundred forty seven seats. The Diet creates and abolishes laws. They serve a six-year term. Then there are the House of Representatives (Shugi-in), which consists of four hundred and eight seats. They serve a four-year term. The Diet is considered "the highest organ of the state" and the most powerful of the three branches. The Diet directs the Emperor in appointing and removing the chiefs of the executive and judicial branch (Stockwin 47). Next, is the Executive Branch. The Executive powers are based on the cabinet that consists of the prime minister and more than fifteen ministers to the state. The ministers to the state are responsible to the Diet. The Executive Branch reports to the Diet. The Cabinet's organized by the prime Marquez 3
minister who is a member of the House of Representatives. Usually the LDP president is the one serving as the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is in charge of governing the nation (Stockwin 62). Lastly, we have the Judicial Branch. The Judicial branch is based on the Supreme Court. It is independent of the other two branches. The Japanese court system is very similar to that of the United States. One difference is that the Japanese court does not have a jury system. Also, there are no administrative courts or claim courts. Court decisions are based on the legal statues. The Courts are responsible for the legal system (Stockwin 79). The Local Government Law of Japan divides the country into 47 prefectures, which carry out administrative duties independently of the central government. Japan no longer has the traditional federal system. The seven prefectures depend on the central government for most funding. According to the Local Autonomy Law, governors (Chiji) are head of the prefectures. The cities, towns, and villages are headed by mayors (Cho). These mayors are elected for a four-year term (Stockwin 101). The minimum voting age in Japan is twenty years. Women received the right to vote in the new constitution. Elections for the House of Representatives are carried out every four years, and half the House...
Cited: Curtis, Gerald. The Japanese Way of Politics. Columbia University Press
Books, 1988. pp. all pages
Curtis, Gerald. The Logic of Japanese Politics. Columbia University Press
Books, 1999. pp. all pages
Stockwin, J.A.A. Governing Japan. Blackwell Publisher, Ltd. 1999 pp. all
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