Political Highlights

 Latest update: March 2024 

Japan's political system is a form of constitutional democracy. Based on the principle of "separation of powers," the activities of the central government are divided into legislative, judicial, and executive branches.  The Emperor does not have any political power and is chiefly the “symbol of the State and unity of the people”. The Constitution of Japan, enacted in 1947 , is based on the pillars of sovereignty of the people, respect for fundamental human rights, and pacifism.

The Japanese Parliament is called the Diet and is considered the “highest organ of State power”. It consists of the House of Representatives (465 seats as of 2024) and the House of Councillors (248 seats as of 2024). The Cabinet is headed by the Prime Minister, who appoints its members. The number of the Cabinet members is in regular cases kept under 14. These are usually members of the Diet, which in turn elect the Prime Minister. Elections for the House of Representatives are held every four years, and half of the House of Councillors is elected every three years. In addition to national elections, prefectural and municipal elections are also held.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan – Japan Fact Sheet, Government, Governmental Structure
House of Representatives, Japan – Strength of the In-House Groups in the House of Representatives
House of Councillors, The National Diet of Japan – Strength of the Political Groups in the House of Councillors
Japan Guide, Government

Table of Contents

  • Separation of Powers
  • Government
  • EU-Japan Summits
  • EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement
  • Progress after entry into force of EPA
  • Other Agreements
  • Further Reading
  • Relevant Organisations
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