I will talk about general aspects such as its constitution, the division of powers, the role of the emperor and I will talk about the first of the three powers: the legislative.
Japan’s constitution, which came into effect in 1947 It is based on the principles of sovereignty, respect for fundamental human rights and the defense of peace. The Japanese political system is founded on a constitutional democracy and the separation of powers into organs executive, legislative and judicial.
After the reform of 1947, the figure of the emperor it is “a symbol of the State and the unity of the people.” The emperor appoints the chief justice of the Supreme Court according to the design of the Diet of Japan (国会, kokkai). The emperor also participates in state affairs with the advice and consent of the cabinet, such as the promulgation of amendments to the constitution, laws, treaties and agreements, assembly of the Diet, dissolution of the house of the chamber of representatives, among other things.
The Diet is the highest organ of State power and represents the branch of the legislative. The designation of the prime minister, who leads the executive branch, is decided by the Diet. Japan practices a parliamentary system in which the prime minister defines the majority of the cabinet members from among the members of the Diet. The cabinet then works in conjunction with the rest of the Diet and is accountable to it. In this respect, the system is similar to that of Great Britain, since the executive has greater weight than the other powers.
The majority of the members of the Diet belong to a party. This body is the only one with the power to make laws. Other powers it has are to approve the national budget, ratify international agreements, and carry out constitutional amendments. The reforms are approved with the consent of two thirds of the Diet.
The Diet is divided into two chambers: the lower house, or the House of Representatives, and the upper house, or the Chamber of Councilors. To enter the House of Representatives it is necessary to be 25 years old. It currently has 480 members, of which 300 are elected by district and the remaining 180 by proportional representation according to the number of votes per party.
To enter the Chamber of Councilors you must be 30 years old. The total number of members was reduced in 2001 from 252 to 247, and in 2004 it was reduced again to 247. As of 2011 there are 242 seats, of which 146 are distributed among electoral districts and the remaining 96 by electoral system. proportional representation. Unlike the House of Representatives, the House of Counselors cannot be dissolved.
In the next article I will talk about the executive and judicial powers.