conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Japan

local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku

local short form: Nihon/Nippon

etymology: the English word for Japan comes via the Chinese name for the country "Cipangu"; both Nihon and Nippon mean "where the sun originates" and are frequently translated as "Land of the Rising Sun"

Government type
parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Capital
name: Tokyo

geographic coordinates: 35 41 N, 139 45 E

time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: originally known as Edo, meaning "estuary" in Japanese, the name was changed to Tokyo, meaning "eastern capital," in 1868

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

Independence
3 May 1947 (current constitution adopted as amendment to Meiji Constitution); notable earlier dates: 11 February 660 B.C. (mythological date of the founding of the nation by Emperor JIMMU); 29 November 1890 (Meiji Constitution provides for constitutional monarchy)

National holiday
Birthday of Emperor NARUHITO, 23 February (1960); note - celebrates the birthday of the current emperor

Constitution
history: previous 1890; latest approved 6 October 1946, adopted 3 November 1946, effective 3 May 1947

amendments: proposed by the Diet; passage requires approval by at least two-thirds majority of both houses of the Diet and approval by majority in a referendum; note - the constitution has not been amended since its enactment in 1947

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

International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship
citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Japan

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
chief of state: Emperor NARUHITO (since 1 May 2019); note - succeeds his father who abdicated on 30 April 2019

head of government: Prime Minister Fumio KISHIDA (since 4 October 2021 )

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; the leader of the majority party or majority coalition in the House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister

election results: Fumio KISHIDA relected prime minister on 10 November 2021 by the lower house with 297 votes against 108 for Yukio EDANO and in the upper houese 141 for KISHIDA and 60 for EDANO

Legislative branch
description: bicameral Diet or Kokkai consists of:
House of Councillors or Sangi-in (245 seats, currently 242; 146 members directly elected in multi-seat districts by simple majority vote and 96 directly elected in a single national constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms with half the membership renewed every 3 years); note - the number of seats increases to 248 at the July 2022 election for renewal of half the membership
House of Representatives or Shugi-in (465 seats; 289 members directly elected in single-seat districts by simple majority vote and 176 directly elected in multi-seat districts by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections:
House of Councillors - last held on 21 July 2019 (next to be held in July 2022)
House of Representatives - last held on 31 October 2021 (next to be held by October 2025)

election results:
House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 55, DP 32, Komeito 14, JCP 6, Osaka Ishin no Kai (Initiatives from Osaka) 7, PLPTYF 1, SDP 1, independent 5; composition - men 186, women 56, percent of women 21.3%
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDP 261, CDP 96, Ishin 41, Komeito 32, DPFP 11, JCP 10, Reiwa 3, SDP 1, independent 10; composition - men 420, women 45, percent of women 9.7%; note - total Diet percent of women 14.7%

note: the Diet in June 2017 redrew Japan's electoral district boundaries and reduced from 475 to 465 seats in the House of Representatives; the amended electoral law, which cuts 6 seats in single-seat districts and 4 in multi-seat districts, was reportedly intended to reduce voting disparities between densely and sparsely populated voting districts

Judicial branch
highest courts: Supreme Court or Saiko saibansho (consists of the chief justice and 14 associate justices); note - the Supreme Court has jurisdiction in constitutional issues

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice designated by the Cabinet and appointed by the monarch; associate justices appointed by the Cabinet and confirmed by the monarch; all justices are reviewed in a popular referendum at the first general election of the House of Representatives following each judge's appointment and every 10 years afterward

subordinate courts: 8 High Courts (Koto-saiban-sho), each with a Family Court (Katei-saiban-sho); 50 District Courts (Chiho saibansho), with 203 additional branches; 438 Summary Courts (Kani saibansho)

Political parties and leaders
Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan or CDP [Yukio EDANO]
Democratic Party for the People Japan or DPFP [Yuichiro TAMAKI]
Group of Reformists [Sakihito OZAWA]
Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]
Japan Innovation Party or Nippon Ishin no kai or Ishin [Ichiro MATSUI]
Party of Hope or Kibo no To [Yuichiro TAMAKI]
Komeito [Natsuo YAMAGUCHI]
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Yoshihide SUGA]
Liberal Party [Ichiro OZAWA] (formerly People's Life Party & Taro Yamamoto and Friends or PLPTYF)New Renaissance Party [Hiroyuki ARAI]
Party for Japanese Kokoro or PJK [Masashi NAKANO]
Reiwa Shinsengumi [Taro YAMAMOTO]
Social Democratic Party or SDP [Tadatomo YOSHIDA]
The Assembly to Energize Japan and the Independents [Kota MATSUDA]