Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a cabinet-level ministry of the Japanese government responsible for the country's foreign relations. The ministry was established by the second term of the third article of the National Government Organization Act, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Establishment Act. According to the law, its chief is a member of the cabinet, "its mission is to aim at improvement of the profits of Japan and Japanese nationals, while contributing to maintenance of peaceful and safe international society, through an active and eager measure, both to implement good international environment and to keep and develop harmonic foreign relationships". Under the 1947 constitution, the cabinet exercises primary responsibility for the conduct of foreign affairs, subject to the overall supervision of the National Diet; the Prime Minister is required to make periodic reports on foreign relations to the Diet, whose upper and lower houses each have a foreign affairs committee. Each committee reports on its deliberations to plenary sessions of the chamber.
Ad hoc committees are formed to consider special questions. Diet members have the right to raise pertinent policy questions—officially termed interpellations—to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister. Treaties with foreign countries require ratification by the Diet; as head of state, the Emperor performs the ceremonial function of receiving foreign envoys and attesting to foreign treaties ratified by the Diet. As the chief executive and constitutionally the dominant figure in the political system, the Prime Minister has the final word in major foreign policy decisions; the Minister for Foreign Affairs, a member of the cabinet, acts as the Prime Minister's chief adviser in matters of planning and implementation. The Minister is assisted by two vice ministers: one in charge of administration, at the apex of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs structure as its senior career official, the other in charge of political liaison with the Diet. Other key positions in the ministry include members of the ministry's Secretariat, which has divisions handling consular, emigration and cultural exchange functions, the directors of the various regional and functional bureaus in the ministry.
The ministry's staff includes an elite career foreign service corps, recruited on the basis of a competitive examination and thereafter trained by the ministry's Foreign Service Training Institute. The handling of specific foreign policy issues is divided between the geographic and functional bureaus to minimize overlap and competition. In general, bilateral issues are assigned to the geographic bureaus, multilateral problems to the functional bureaus; the Treaties Bureau, with its wide-ranging responsibilities, tend to get involved in the whole spectrum of issues. The Information Analysis and Planning Bureau engages in comprehensive and coordinated policy investigation and planning. Long a profession of high social prestige, diplomatic service from the Meiji period through World War II was a preserve of the upper social strata. In addition to formal qualifications, important prewar requirements for admission were proper social origin, family connections, graduation from Tokyo Imperial University.
After World War II, these requirements were changed as part of democratic reform measures but foreign service continued to be a regarded career. Most career foreign service officers had passed the postwar Higher Foreign Service Examination before entry into the service. Many of these successful examinees were graduates of the prestigious Law Faculty of the University of Tokyo. All ambassadorial appointments since the 1950s have been made from among veteran diplomats. Diplomacy in postwar Japan was not a monopoly of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Given the overriding importance of economic factors in foreign relations, the ministry worked with the Ministry of Finance on matters of customs, international finance, foreign aid; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs consulted other agencies, such as the Defense Agency, the Fair Trade Commission, the Japan Export-Import Bank, the Japan External Trade Organization, the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, the Overseas Technical Cooperation Agency. On many issues affecting the country's foreign economic activities—and thus its diplomatic relations as well—the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sometimes MITI and the Ministry of Finance were known to favor liberalizing import restrictions.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and other domestic ministries, took a more protectionist stand, evidently because of pressures from special interest groups. The vital importance of foreign affairs expanded to affect every aspect of national life in postwar Japan, the multiplicity of agencies involved in external affairs continued to be a source of confusion and inefficiency in the formulation of foreign policy, yet as the postwar generation of leaders and policymakers began to assume a greater role in government decision making and as public attitudes on foreign policy issues matured, there were indications that foreign affairs were being conducted on the basis of a more stable consensus. The current Minister for Foreign Affairs is Tarō Kōno. Minister's Secretariat Chief of Protocol Press Secretary / Director-General for Press and Public Relations Public Diplomacy Department Foreign Policy Bureau Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Science Department Asian and Oceanian Affai
Tokyo Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world; the urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603, it became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is referred to as a city but is known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo; the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo were Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, it merged with Tokyo Prefecture and became Tokyo Metropolis with an additional 26 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture, the Izu islands and Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo.
The population of the special wards is over 9 million people, with the total population of Tokyo Metropolis exceeding 13.8 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area called the Greater Tokyo Area with over 38 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy; as of 2011, Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time. Tokyo ranked third in the International Financial Centres Development Index; the city is home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. Tokyo third in the Global Cities Index; the GaWC's 2018 inventory classified Tokyo as an alpha+ world city – and as of 2014 TripAdvisor's World City Survey ranked Tokyo first in its "Best overall experience" category. As of 2018 Tokyo ranked as the 2nd-most expensive city for expatriates, according to the Mercer consulting firm, and the world's 11th-most expensive city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's cost-of-living survey.
In 2015, Tokyo was named the Most Liveable City in the world by the magazine Monocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo was ranked first out of all sixty cities in the 2017 Safe Cities Index; the QS Best Student Cities ranked Tokyo as the 3rd-best city in the world to be a university student in 2016 and 2nd in 2018. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the 1979 G-7 summit, the 1986 G-7 summit, the 1993 G-7 summit, will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Tokyo was known as Edo, which means "estuary", its name was changed to Tokyo when it became the imperial capital with the arrival of Emperor Meiji in 1868, in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word capital in the name of the capital city. During the early Meiji period, the city was called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tokyo", making it a kanji homograph; some surviving official English documents use the spelling "Tokei".
The name Tokyo was first suggested in 1813 in the book Kondō Hisaku, written by Satō Nobuhiro. When Ōkubo Toshimichi proposed the renaming to the government during the Meiji Restoration, according to Oda Kanshi, he got the idea from that book. Tokyo was a small fishing village named Edo, in what was part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred from Mikawa Province to Kantō region; when he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century, but Edo was Tokugawa's home and was not capital of Japan. The Emperor himself lived in Kyoto from 794 to 1868 as capital of Japan. During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city.
The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. However, this prolonged period of seclusion came to an end with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Commodore Perry forced the opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, leading to an increase in the demand for new foreign goods and subsequently a severe rise in inflation. Social unrest mounted in the wake of these higher prices and culminated in widespread rebellions and demonstrations in the form of the "smashing" of rice establishments. Meanwhile, supporters of the Meiji Emperor leveraged the disruption that t
The Reconstruction Agency is an agency of the Japanese government established on February 2, 2012 to coordinate reconstruction activities related to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. According to "Role of the Reconstruction Agency", the agency will: 1. Plan and implement the national policy on reconstruction. Bear the responsibility for a unified point of contact, etc. to local public bodies. The Reconstruction Agency was established to replace the Reconstruction Headquarters in response to the Great East Japan earthquake, created on June 24, 2011; the Reconstruction Agency was headed by the Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. Noda was named direct head of the agency in an effort to strengthen the leadership of the organization. Tatsuo Hirano, a native of Iwate Prefecture, served as the agency's first Minister of State for Disaster Management until he was replaced by Osamu Fujimura on June 4, 2012; the Reconstruction Agency is not part of the Cabinet Office, but will have authority over other government ministries.
The agency will exist for ten years, the length of time estimated to restore the region after the disaster, be dissolved on March 3, 2021. A wooden tablet for the new agency was made from materials from the earthquake zone. Prime Minister Noda placed the tablet at the Akasaka Agency headquarters as a reminder of the responsibility to residents of the disaster-hit regions; the Reconstruction Agency established three Regional Offices for Reconstruction in Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, two smaller regional offices in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture and Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture. The agency sought to work with business associations in Japan in order to establish or revive economic activity in the Tohoku region affected by the earthquake and nuclear disaster; the agency, as well as the Japan Business Federation, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, their affiliated corporations, formed the Reconstruction Design Council in response to the Great East Japan earthquake.
2011 March 11 — Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami June 24 — Basic Act on Reconstruction in response to the Great East Japan earthquake passed in the Diet of Japan June 24 — Reconstruction Headquarters in response to the Great East Japan earthquake created September 2 — Resignation of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda assumes office December 9 — Law to Establish the Reconstruction Agency passed in the Diet of Japan 2012 February 10 — Opening of Reconstruction Agency June 4 — Osamu Fujimura became the agency's second Minister of State for Disaster Management Reconstruction Agency Iwate Response Office Miyako Branch Office Kamaishi Branch Office Miyagi Response Office Kesennuma Branch Office Ishinomaki Branch Office Fukushima Response Office Minami-Sōma Branch Office Iwaki Branch Office Aomori Office Ibaraki Office Reconstruction Design Council in response to the Great East Japan earthquake Study Group of the Reconstruction Design Council in Response to the Great East Japan earthquake The establishment of the Reconstruction Agency received criticism for both the slow pace of its establishment, for the location of its headquarters.
Residents and officials in regions affected by the disaster, notably Yūhei Satō, governor of Fukushima Prefecture, publicly noted the lack of speed in which the agency was created: From the victims' perspective, I can't help but ask,'Couldn't they have launched the agency more quickly?' Legislation in the National Diet to establish the agency was slowed by the resignation of Prime Minister Naoto Kan in September 2011. The bill to create the agency passed in December 2011, nine months after the disaster occurred, delaying the opening of the agency until February 2012. Kan acknowledged the slow pace of government response to the disaster on March 3, 2011, pledged to speed up recovery efforts. Residents displaced by the tsunami have opposed Agency-led plans to rebuild towns on higher land away from the coast, see it as a disconnect between the central government and the population in the Tōhoku region. After a strict review of initial projects, the Agency approved a large number of projects in a second round of reviews in May 2012, including funds for urban and agricultural renewal.
Tatsuo Hirano Takumi Nemoto Wataru Takeshita Tsuyoshi Takagi Masahiro Imamura Masayoshi Yoshino Hiromichi Watanabe 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan Yoshihiko Noda Tatsuo Hirano "Official website: Reconstruction Agency". Tokyo: Reconstruction Agency. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 復興庁. Tokyo: Reconstruction Agency. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-04. "Organization of Reconstruction Headquarters in response to the Great East Japan earthquake". Tokyo: Reconstruction Agency. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 復興庁の組織について [Organization of the Recon
Constitution of Japan
The Constitution of Japan is the fundamental law of Japan. It was enacted on 3 May 1947, as a new constitution for a post-war Japan; the constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government and guarantees certain fundamental rights. Under its terms, the Emperor of Japan is "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people" and exercises a purely ceremonial role without the possession of sovereignty; the constitution known as the "Post-war Constitution" or the "Peace Constitution", is best known for its Article 9, by which Japan renounces its right to wage war. The constitution was drawn up during the Allied occupation that followed World War II and was intended to replace Japan's previous militaristic system of quasi-absolute monarchy with a form of liberal democracy. No amendment has been made to it since its adoption; the Meiji Constitution was the fundamental law of the Empire of Japan, propagated during the reign of Emperor Meiji. It provided for a form of mixed constitutional and absolute monarchy, based on the Prussian and British models.
In theory, the Emperor of Japan was the supreme ruler, the cabinet, whose prime minister was elected by a privy council, were his followers. Under the Meiji Constitution, the prime minister and his cabinet were not chosen from the elected members of the Diet. Pursuing the regular amending procedure of the "Meiji Constitution", it was revised to become the "Post-war Constitution" on 3 November 1946; the Post-war Constitution has been in force since 3 May 1947. On 26 July 1945, Allied leaders Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman, Chiang Kai-shek issued the Potsdam Declaration, which demanded Japan's unconditional surrender; this declaration defined the major goals of the post-surrender Allied occupation: "The Japanese government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established". In addition, the document stated: "The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government".
The Allies sought not punishment or reparations from a militaristic foe, but fundamental changes in the nature of its political system. In the words of political scientist Robert E. Ward: "The occupation was the single most exhaustively planned operation of massive and externally directed political change in world history." The wording of the Potsdam Declaration—"The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles..."—and the initial post-surrender measures taken by Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, suggest that neither he nor his superiors in Washington intended to impose a new political system on Japan unilaterally. Instead, they wished to encourage Japan's new leaders to initiate democratic reforms on their own, but by early 1946, MacArthur's staff and Japanese officials were at odds over the most fundamental issue, the writing of a new Constitution. Emperor Hirohito, Prime Minister Kijūrō Shidehara and most of the cabinet members were reluctant to take the drastic step of replacing the 1889 Meiji Constitution with a more liberal document.
In late 1945, Shidehara appointed Jōji Matsumoto, state minister without portfolio, head of a blue-ribbon committee of Constitutional scholars to suggest revisions. The Matsumoto Commission's recommendations, made public in February 1946, were quite conservative as "no more than a touching-up of the Meiji Constitution"). MacArthur rejected them outright and ordered his staff to draft a new document. An additional reason for this was that on 24 January 1946, Prime Minister Shidehara had suggested to MacArthur that the new Constitution should contain an article renouncing war. Much of the drafting was done by two senior army officers with law degrees: Milo Rowell and Courtney Whitney, although others chosen by MacArthur had a large say in the document; the articles about equality between men and women were written by Beate Sirota. Although the document's authors were non-Japanese, they took into account the Meiji Constitution, the demands of Japanese lawyers, the opinions of pacifist political leaders such as Shidehara and Shigeru Yoshida, the draft presented by the Constitution Research Association under the chairmanship of Suzuki Yasuzō, translated into English in its entirety by the end of December 1945.
MacArthur gave the authors less than a week to complete the draft, presented to surprised Japanese officials on 13 February 1946. On 6 March 1946, the government publicly disclosed an outline of the pending Constitution. On 10 April, elections were held for the House of Representatives of the Ninetieth Imperial Diet, which would consider the proposed Constitution; the election law having been changed, this was the first general election in Japan in which women were permitted to vote. The MacArthur draft, which proposed a unicameral legislature, was changed at the insistence of the Japanese to allow a bicameral one, with both houses being elected. In most other important respects, the government adopted the ideas embodied in the 13 February document in its own draft proposal of 6 March; these included the con
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Japan)
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan is the Cabinet member responsible for Japanese foreign policy and the chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since the end of the American occupation of Japan, the position has been one of the most powerful in the Cabinet, as Japan's economic interests have long relied on external relations; the recent efforts of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to establish a more interventionist foreign policy have heightened the importance of the position. The position is held by Tarō Kōno. Italics indicates subject served as Acting Foreign Minister. Bold indicates subject served concurrently as Prime Minister for a period of time. Liberal Imperial Family Progressive Socialist Democratic Democratic Liberal Liberal Democratic Liberal Democratic Japan Renewal Party Japan New Party Liberal League Democratic Foreign minister Foreign policy of Japan Minister's Profile at Ministry of Foreign Affairs website
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
The Minister of Economy and Industry is the Cabinet of Japan member in charge of the Ministry of Economy and Industry. Liberal Democratic Democratic
Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications
The Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications is the member of the Cabinet of Japan in charge of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Liberal Democratic Democratic