Japan has a monarchy with a parliamentary government. A monarch is a hereditary or royal ruler such as a king or queen. A parliament is an official government or council. The head of the parliament in Japan is the Prime Minister. Junichiro Koizumi is the Prime Minister. He has been head of the government since April 24, 2001. The capital or center of government of Japan is located in Tokyo.
The legislative branch is a bicameral Diet including the House of Councilors, which has 252 seats. One-half of the members of the House of Councilors is elected every three years. The House of Representatives has 480 seats: 180 are elected by popular vote and serve 4-year terms.
The monarch appoints the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court.