Basic information about Japan
1. Basic data
Population: 127,614,000 (as of February 2009; Estimated by Statistics Bureau of Japan)
Population density: 343/1km2 (as of October 2005; Census)
Area: 377,835 sq km
GDP/cap: $33,626 (as of 2007; OECD)
Administrative division: 47 prefectures
Capital: Tokyo (Population of 12,576,601 for the entire administrative division area)
Governement type: Constitutional Monarchy, Parliamentary system
Legislative organ: Kokkai (National Diet)
Bicameral system of Shugiin (House of Representative) and Sangiin (House of Councilor)
Election system: Mixed system, single-member district and proportional representation for Shugiin, and multi-member district and proportional representation for Sangiin.
Current governing parties: LDP and Komei coalition (as of July 2009)
Current Prime Minister: Aso, Taro (LDP) (as of July 2009)
Major opposition parties: DPJ, JCP, SDP, etc.
Administrative divisions and bureaucratic system: Cabinet Office and 12 Ministries and Agencies (2001-)
Labor force: 66.89 million (official: As of May 2009)
Unemployment rate: 5.2% (official, seasonally adjusted, as of May 2009); 4.0% in May 2008.
Government's financial balance: Deficit of 2.7% of the nominal GDP (2007)
4. Recent important political events
- LDP lost the general election (Shugiin)
- Hosokawa coalition government (7 parties) was formed.
- Coalition governmen collapsed.
- LDP, SD and Sakigake coalition was formed.
- Election system reform agreed.
--> Mixed system of Single Member District and Proportional Representation.
- Murayama apologized China for the invasion in the WWII (Murayama doctorine)
- Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake
- Aum Shinrikyo's (a religious cult group) Sarin terrorism in Tokyo
- The first general election under the new election system.
-->LDP gained majority.
- Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was formed.
- Basic Reform Law of Central Government Agencies passed.
- LDP coalized with Komei and Liberal Party
- Kato no ran (an influencial LDP Diet member, Kato Ko'ichi dissented but failed to pass the vote of no-confidence of Mori government).
- Current system of Cabinet Office and 12 Ministries and Agencies enforced
- Koizumi Jun'ichiro became a PM --> LDP's victory in the general election (Shugiin)
- Koizumi visited North Korea for the first time
- Liberal Party was integrated to DPJ
- LDP's landslide victory in the general election (Shugiin)
- DPJ's landslide victory in the general election for the first time (Sangiin)
- Shugiin is still controlled by LDP+Komei coalition, but DPJ became the largest party in Sangiin
- PM Fukuda resigned, and Taro Aso was elected to be a PM (September)
- DPJ's landslide victory in the general election for the second time (Shugiin: The end of the LDP's domination).
- Hatoyama government (DPJ) is to start.
Sources: Statistics Bureau of Japan; CIA; OECD. 2009. Stat Extract; BBC. Timeline: Japan.
For more basic information, see also: