The Japanese Government
consists of a constitutional monarchy with the emperor set as a symbol rather
than a major player. The legislature, called
the "Diet", is elected by the people and consists of the upper house (House of
Councilors) and the lower house (House of Representatives). There are 480
members to the House of Representatives and 242 members to the House of
Councilors. Elections for the lower house are made every four years and
elections for the upper house are made every three. There are 47
administrative divisions in Japan. Forty-three prefectures, two urban
prefectures (Kyoto and Osaka), one metro district (Tokyo), and one separate
district (Hokkaido). Each city is divided into wards, then precincts, and
executive sector of the government consists of a cabinet that is headed
by the Prime Minister. The prime minister is elected by the diet and the
cabinet consists of ministers that are appointed by the prime minister from
members of the Diet.
judiciary system in Japan is similar to the United States. The
highest court is the Supreme Court. The lower courts consist of district
courts, high courths, family courts and summary courts. Judges are
appointed by ministers from the cabinet.
There are two major parties
in Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Social Democratic Party of
Japan (SDPJ). There are other parties such as the Sakigake Party,
Shinseito, Komeito, and Japan New Party. The minimum voting age is 20.
many religions in Japan but the two biggest are Shinto and Buddhism. Most
Japanese consider themselves one or the other. Religion in Japan does not
play a big role in everyday life but it plays a major role in festivals, births,
deaths, and weddings. Many Japanese visit a shrine or temple on New Year's
Eve and Day. In order to read about the religions of Japan, please click
on the name below. A pop-up window will open unless you have a pop-up
blocker. Please turn off the pop-up blocker to fully enjoy the site.
Due to the
fact that religious rituals are such a big part of weddings and funerals, I
decided to include those in this section. Enjoy!