Japan Government Stats


Shinzo Abe became Japan's prime minister for the second time in December 2012, after his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) scored a landslide election win.

He previously served a brief term as premier in 2006-7, when he was Japan's youngest leader since World War II.

He began his first term in office with a high approval rating, but a series of scandals and gaffes damaged the government, and with support for his administration plummeting, Mr Abe stepped down, citing ill health.

The centre-left Democratic Party (DPJ) came to power in August 2009 - having also won a landslide election - but quickly lost popularity as a result of a mounting financial crisis. The DPJ government also struggled to cope with the aftermath of the March 2011 tsunami, and was in its turn beset by a series of scandals.

By the autumn of 2012, faced with a "fiscal cliff" brought on by the country's public debt mountain - the highest debt to GDP ratio in the industrialised world - and the crippling after-effects of the nuclear crisis triggered by the tsunami, the DPJ had no choice but to call an early election.

On returning to the premiership in 2012, Mr Abe acknowledged the widely held perception that the LDP's sweeping victory owed a lot to anger at DPJ failures, and was not necessarily a statement of confidence in the conservative party that had previously ruled Japan almost continuously for half a century.

Known as a right-wing hawk, Mr Abe comes from a high-profile political family. His father was a former foreign minister, while his grandfather, former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, was arrested as a suspected war criminal after World War II but never charged.

Shinzo Abe won his first seat in parliament in 1993 and was appointed to the cabinet for the first time in October 2005, when he was given the important role of chief cabinet secretary.

During his first premiership, he showed himself to be an outspoken populist, pushing for a more assertive foreign policy and a greater role for Japan on the world stage.

Under his administration, a bill was passed setting out steps for holding a referendum on revising the country's pacifist constitution.

He also called for a greater sense of national pride and backed a law requiring the teaching of patriotism in schools.

He provoked anger in China and South Korea when he said there was no evidence that women were forced to become sex slaves by the Japanese army during World War II. He later apologised for these remarks.

After standing down from the premiership in September 2007, he temporarily disappeared from the political spotlight. He returned to the political stage in September 2012 with his election as LDP leader, and soon expressed strong views on the ongoing territorial rows with China and South Korea.

The main challenge that he faces is the state of the economy. His decision to weaken the yen seemed to reap dividends when exports rose 10.1% in May 2013 - the fastest annual rate since 2010.

He went on to win control of the upper house of parliament in July, seeing this as an endorsement of his economic and foreign policy.


  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
  • International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
Administrative divisions 47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, 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 2013
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 35 41 N, 139 45 E 2008
Constitution previous 1890; latest approved 6 October 1946, adopted 3 November 1946, effective 3 May 1947 2013
Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address Unit 9800, Box 300, APO AP 96303-0300 2013
Executive branch > Cabinet Cabinet is appointed by the prime minister 2013
Executive branch > Head of government Prime Minister Shinzo ABE (since 26 December 2012); Deputy Prime Minister Taro ASO (since 26 December 2012) 2013
Government type a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy 2013
Independence 3 May 1947 (current constitution adopted as amendment to Meiji Constitution); notable earlier dates: 660 B.C. (traditional date of the founding of the nation by Emperor JIMMU); 29 November 1890 (Meiji Constitution provides for constitutional monarchy) 2013
International organization participation ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC 2013
Judicial branch Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet; all other justices are appointed by the cabinet) 2012
Legal system civil law system based on German model; system also reflects Anglo-American influence and Japanese traditions; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court 2013
Legislative branch bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of the House of Councillors or Sangi-in (242 seats - members elected for fixed six-year terms; half reelected every three years; 146 members in multi-seat constituencies and 96 by proportional representation) and the House of Representatives or Shugi-in (480 seats - members elected for maximum four-year terms; 300 in single-seat constituencies; 180 members by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs); the prime minister has the right to dissolve the House of Representatives at any time with the concurrence of the cabinet 2011
Political parties and leaders Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Banri KAIEDA]
Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]
Japan Restoration Party or JRP [Shintaro ISHIHARA]
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Shinzo ABE]
New Komeito or NK [Natsuo YAMAGUCHI]
People's Life Party or PF [Ichiro OZAWA]
Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA]
Tomorrow Party of Japan or TPJ [Tomoko ABE]
Your Party or YP [Yoshimi WATANABE]
Political pressure groups and leaders other: business groups; trade unions 2013
Suffrage 20 years of age; universal 2013

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011


"Japan Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Japan/Government