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Constitution of Japan


Government of Japan
Government of Japan

Japan’s constitution was promulgated in 1946 and came into force in 1947, superseding the Meiji Constitution of 1889. It differs from the earlier document in the following points: the emperor, rather than being the embodiment of all sovereign authority (as he was previously), is the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people, while sovereign power rests with the people; Japan renounces war as a sovereign right; and fundamental human rights are explicitly guaranteed. Furthermore, the government is now based on a constitution that aims at maintaining Japan as a peaceful and democratic country in perpetuity.

The emperor’s major role now consists of such formalities as appointing the prime minister—who is first designated by the Diet (Kokkai)—and appointing the chief justice of the Supreme Court (Saikō Saibansho), convoking sessions of the Diet, promulgating laws and treaties, and awarding state honours—all with the advice and approval of the Cabinet (Naikaku).

Jajan power


Legislative powers are vested in the Diet, which is popularly elected and consists of two houses. The House of Representatives, or lower house (Shūgiin), ultimately takes precedence over the House of Councillors, or upper house (Sangiin). Membership in the House of Representatives is based on proportional representation from prefectural districts, while that in the House of Councillors is divided between proportional representation and at-large representation. The House of Representatives controls the budget and approves treaties with foreign powers. Executive power is vested in the Cabinet, which is organized and headed by the prime minister.

If the House of Representatives passes a resolution of no-confidence or refuses to pass a vote of confidence in the government, the Cabinet must resign, unless the House of Representatives is dissolved within 10 days. There are governmental ministries and agencies in addition to the Prime Minister’s Office. All offices of the central government are located in and around the Kasumigaseki district in central Tokyo. An independent constitutional body called the Board of Audit is responsible for the annual auditing of the accounts of the state. "Japan" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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