Minister of Finance (Japan)
The Minister of Finance is the member of the Cabinet of Japan in charge of the Ministry of Finance. This position was cited as being Japan's most powerful and one of the world's, because Japan had held the largest foreign exchange reserves, it seems that title has been passed to Bank of Japan governors, due to Japan's position as the world's largest and lowest rate creditor. Until 2001, the position was known in Japanese as "Treasury Minister", but the English name was "Minister of Finance" both before and after the name change in Japanese. Liberal Socialist Ryokufūkai Democratic Democratic Liberal Liberal Independent Democratic Liberal Democratic Japan New Party New Party Sakigake Japan Renewal Party Democratic
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
Emperor Taishō was the 123rd Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 30 July 1912 until his death on 25 December 1926. The Emperor's personal name was Yoshihito. According to Japanese custom, during the reign the Emperor is called "the Emperor". After death, he is known by a posthumous name, the name of the era coinciding with his reign. Having ruled during the Taishō period, he is known as the "Taishō Emperor" or "Emperor Taishō". Prince Yoshihito was born at the Tōgū Palace in Akasaka, Tokyo to Emperor Meiji and Yanagihara Naruko, a concubine with the official title of gon-no-tenji; as was common practice at the time, Emperor Meiji's consort, Empress Shōken, was regarded as his mother. He received the personal name of Yoshihito Shinnō and the title Haru-no-miya from the Emperor on 6 September 1879, his two older siblings had died in infancy, he too was born sickly. Prince Yoshihito contracted cerebral meningitis within three weeks of his birth; as was the practice at the time, Prince Yoshihito was entrusted to the care of his great-grandfather, Marquess Nakayama Tadayasu, in whose house he lived from infancy until the age of seven.
Prince Nakayama had raised his grandson, Emperor Meiji, as a child. From March 1885, Prince Yoshihito moved to the Aoyama Detached Palace, where he was tutored in the mornings on reading, writing and morals, in the afternoons on sports, but progress was slow due to his poor health and frequent fevers. From 1886, he was taught together with 15–20 selected classmates from the ōke and higher ranking kazoku peerage at a special school, the Gogakumonsho, within the Aoyama Palace. Yoshihito was declared heir on 31 August 1887, had his formal investiture as crown prince on 3 November 1888. While crown prince, he was referred to as Tōgu. In September 1887, Yoshihito entered the elementary department of the Gakushūin, he spent much of his youth by the sea at the Imperial villas at Hayama and Numazu for health reasons. Although the prince showed skill in some areas, such as horse riding, he proved to be poor in areas requiring higher-level thought, he was withdrawn from Gakushuin before finishing the middle school course in 1894.
However, he did appear to have an aptitude for languages and continued to receive extensive tutoring in French and history from private tutors at the Akasaka Palace. From 1898 at the insistence of Itō Hirobumi, the Prince began to attend sessions of the House of Peers of the Diet of Japan as a way of learning about the political and military concerns of the country. In the same year, he gave his first official receptions to foreign diplomats, with whom he was able to shake hands and converse graciously, his infatuation with western culture and tendency to sprinkle French words into his conversations was a source of irritation for Emperor Meiji. In October 1898, the Prince traveled from the Numazu Imperial Villa to Kobe and Etajima, visiting sites connected with the Imperial Japanese Navy, he made another tour in 1899 to Kyūshū, visiting government offices and factories. On 10 May 1900, Crown Prince Yoshihito married the 15-year-old Kujō Sadako, daughter of Prince Kujō Michitaka, the head of the five senior branches of the Fujiwara clan.
She had been selected by Emperor Meiji for her intelligence and pleasant disposition and dignity – to complement Prince Yoshihito in the areas where he was lacking. The Akasaka Palace was constructed from 1899 to 1909 in a lavish European rococo style, to serve as the Crown Prince's official residence; the Prince and Princess had the following children: In 1902, Yoshihito continued his tours to observe the customs and geography of Japan, this time of central Honshū, where he visited the noted Buddhist temple of Zenkō-ji in Nagano. With tensions rising between Japan and Russia, Yoshihito was promoted in 1903 to the rank of colonel in the Imperial Japanese Army and captain in the Imperial Japanese Navy, his military duties were only ceremonial, but he traveled to inspect military facilities in Wakayama, Ehime and Okayama that year. In October 1907, the Crown Prince toured Korea, accompanied by Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō, General Katsura Tarō, Prince Arisugawa Taruhito, it was the first time an heir apparent to the throne had left Japan.
During this period, he began studying the Korean language, although he never became proficient at it. On 30 July 1912, upon the death of his father, Emperor Meiji, Prince Yoshihito mounted the throne; the new Emperor was kept out of view of the public as much as possible. On one of the rare occasions he was seen in public, the 1913 opening of the Imperial Diet of Japan, he is famously reported to have rolled his prepared speech into a cylinder and stared at the assembly through it, as if through a spyglass. Although rumors attributed this to poor mental condition, including those who knew him well, believed that he may have been checking to make sure the speech was rolled up properly, as his manual dexterit
Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff
The Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff was the highest organ within the Imperial Japanese Navy. In charge of planning and operations, it was headed by an Admiral headquartered in Tokyo. Created in 1893, the Navy General Staff took over operational authority over the Imperial Japanese Navy from the Navy Ministry, it was responsible for the execution of national defense strategy. Through the Imperial General Headquarters it reported directly to the Emperor, not to the Prime Minister, Diet of Japan or the Navy Ministry, it was always headed by an admiral on active duty, was based in Tokyo. "The ministry was responsible for the naval budget, ship construction, weapons procurement, relations with the Diet and the cabinet and broad matters of naval policy. The General Staff directed the operations of the fleet and the preparation of war plans". After the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-22, where Japan agreed to keep the size of its fleet smaller than that of the United Kingdom and the United States, the Imperial Japanese Navy became divided into the mutually hostile Fleet Faction and Treaty Faction political cliques.
The Navy Ministry tended to be pro-Treaty Faction and was anxious to maintain the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. However the Navy General Staff came to be dominated by the Fleet faction, gained ascendancy in the 1930s with increasing Japanese militarism; the Navy General Staff pushed through the attack on Pearl Harbor against the wishes of the more diplomatic Navy Ministry. After 1937, both the Navy Minister and the Chief of the Navy General Staff were members of the Imperial General Headquarters. With the defeat of the Empire of Japan in World War II, the Navy General Staff was abolished together with the Imperial Japanese Navy by the American occupation authorities in November 1945 and was not revived by the post-war Constitution of Japan; the General Staff was organized as follows: 1st Section: Operations Bureau 2nd Section: Weapons and Mobilization Bureau 3rd Section: Intelligence Bureau 4th Section: Communications Bureau Ministry of the Navy Asada, Sadao. From Mahan to Pearl Harbor: The Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States.
US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-042-8. Schencking, J. Charles. Making Waves: Politics, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4977-9. Spector, Ronald. Eagle Against the Sun. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-74101-3. "Foreign Office Files for Japan and the Far East". Adam Matthew Publications. Accessed 2 March 2005
"Kimigayo" is the national anthem of Japan. Its lyrics are the oldest among the world's national anthems, with a length of 11 measures and 32 characters "Kimigayo" is one of the world's shortest, its lyrics are from a waka poem written by an unnamed author in the Heian period, the current melody was chosen in 1880, replacing an unpopular melody composed eleven years earlier. While the title "Kimigayo" is translated as "His Imperial Majesty's Reign", no official translation of the title or lyrics has been established in law. From 1888 to 1945 "Kimigayo" served as the national anthem of the Empire of Japan; when the Empire was dissolved following its surrender at the end of World War II, the State of Japan succeeded it in 1945. This successor state was a parliamentary democracy and the polity therefore changed from a system based on imperial sovereignty to one based on popular sovereignty. Emperor Hirohito was not dethroned, "Kimigayo" was retained as the de facto national anthem; the passage of the Act on National Flag and Anthem in 1999 recognized it as the official national anthem.
"Kimi" has been used either as a noun to indicate an emperor or one's lord since at least the Heian period. For example, the protagonist Hikaru Genji of the Tale of Genji is called "Hikaru no Kimi" or "Hikaru-gimi", but before the Nara period, the emperor was called "ōkimi". In the Kamakura period, "Kimigayo" was used as a festive song among samurai and became popular among the people in the Edo period. In the part of the Edo period, "Kimigayo" was used in the Ōoku and Satsuma-han as a common festive new year song. In those contexts, "kimi" never meant the emperor but only the Tokugawa shōgun, the Shimazu clan as rulers of the Satsuma-han, guests of honor or all members of festive drinking party. After the Meiji Restoration, samurai from Satsuma-han controlled the Imperial Japanese government and they adopted "Kimigayo" as the national anthem of Japan. From this time until the Japanese defeat in World War II, "Kimigayo" was understood to mean the long reign of the emperor. With the adoption of the Constitution of Japan in 1947, the emperor became no longer a sovereign who ruled by divine right, but a human, a symbol of the state and of the unity of the people.
The Ministry of Education did not give any new meanings for "Kimigayo" after the war. The Ministry did not formally renounce the pre-war meaning of "Kimigayo". In 1999, during the deliberations of the Act on National Flag and Anthem, the official definition of Kimi or Kimi-ga-yo was questioned repeatedly; the first suggestion, given by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka, stated that kimi meant the "emperor as the symbol of Japan", that the entire lyrics wish for the peace and prosperity of Japan. He referred to the new status of emperor as established in Article 1 of the Constitution of Japan as the main reason for these suggestions. During the same session, Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi confirmed this meaning with a statement on June 29, 1999: "Kimi" indicates the Emperor, the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, whose position is derived from the consensus-based will of Japanese citizens, with whom sovereign power resides. And, the phrase "Kimigayo" indicates our State, which has the Emperor enthroned as the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people by the consensus-based will of Japanese citizens.
And it is reasonable to take the lyric of "Kimigayo" to mean the wish for the lasting prosperity and peace of such country of ours. Parties opposed to the Liberal Democratic Party, in control of the government at the time Obuchi was prime minister objected to the government's meaning of kimi and "Kimigayo". From the Democratic Party of Japan, members objected due to the lack of any historical ties to the meaning; the strongest critic was Kazuo Shii, the chairman of the Communist Party of Japan, who claimed that "Japan" could not be derived from "Kimigayo" because the lyrics only mention wishing for the emperor for a long reign. Shii objected to the use of the song as the national anthem because for a democratic nation, a song about the emperor is not appropriate; the lyrics first appeared in a poetry anthology, as an anonymous poem. The poem was included in many anthologies, was used in a period as a celebration song of a long life by people of all social statures. Unlike the form used for the current national anthem, the poem began with "Waga Kimi wa" instead of "Kimiga Yo wa".
The first lyrics were changed during the Kamakura period, while the rest of the lyrics stayed the same. Because the lyrics were sung on formal occasions, such as birthdays, there was no sheet music for it until the 19th century. In 1869, John William Fenton, a visiting Irish military band leader, realized there was no national anthem in Japan, suggested to Iwao Ōyama, an officer of the Satsuma Clan, that one be created. Ōyama agreed, selected the lyrics. The lyrics may have been chosen for their similarity to the British national anthem, due to Fenton's influence. After selecting the anthem's lyrics, Ōyama asked Fenton to create the melody. After being given just two to three weeks to compose the melody and only a few days to rehearse, Fenton debuted the anthem before the Japanese Emperor in 1870; this was the first version of "Kimigayo". This was discarded because the melody "lacked solemnity", according to the Japanese gov
Flag of Japan
The national flag of Japan is a rectangular white banner bearing a crimson-red disc at its center. This flag is called Nisshōki, but is more known in Japan as Hinomaru, it embodies the country's sobriquet: Land of the Rising Sun. The Nisshōki flag is designated as the national flag in the Law Regarding the National Flag and National Anthem, promulgated and became effective on August 13, 1999. Although no earlier legislation had specified a national flag, the sun-disc flag had become the de facto national flag of Japan. Two proclamations issued in 1870 by the Daijō-kan, the governmental body of the early Meiji period, each had a provision for a design of the national flag. A sun-disc flag was adopted as the national flag for merchant ships under Proclamation No. 57 of Meiji 3, as the national flag used by the Navy under Proclamation No. 651 of Meiji 3. Use of the Hinomaru was restricted during the early years of the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II; the sun plays an important role in Japanese mythology and religion as the Emperor is said to be the direct descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu and the legitimacy of the ruling house rested on this divine appointment and descent from the chief deity of the predominant Shinto religion.
The name of the country as well as the design of the flag reflect this central importance of the sun. The ancient history Shoku Nihongi says that Emperor Monmu used a flag representing the sun in his court in 701, this is the first recorded use of a sun-motif flag in Japan; the oldest existing flag is preserved in Unpō-ji temple, Kōshū, older than the 16th century, an ancient legend says that the flag was given to the temple by Emperor Go-Reizei in the 11th century. During the Meiji Restoration, both the sun disc and the Rising Sun Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy became major symbols in the emerging Japanese Empire. Propaganda posters and films depicted the flag as a source of pride and patriotism. In Japanese homes, citizens were required to display the flag during national holidays and other occasions as decreed by the government. Different tokens of devotion to Japan and its Emperor featuring the Hinomaru motif became popular during the Second Sino-Japanese War and other conflicts; these tokens ranged from slogans written on the flag to clothing items and dishes that resembled the flag.
Public perception of the national flag varies. Both Western and Japanese sources claimed the flag was a powerful and enduring symbol to the Japanese. Since the end of World War II, the use of the flag and the national anthem Kimigayo has been a contentious issue for Japan's public schools. Disputes about their use have led to lawsuits; the flag is not displayed in Japan due to its association with ultranationalism. To some Okinawans, the flag represents the events of World War II and the subsequent U. S. military presence there. For some nations that have been occupied by Japan, the flag is a symbol of aggression and imperialism; the Hinomaru was used as a tool against occupied nations for purposes of intimidation, asserting Japan's dominance, or subjugation. Several military banners of Japan are based including the sunrayed naval ensign; the Hinomaru serves as a template for other Japanese flags in public and private use. The exact origin of the Hinomaru is unknown, but the rising sun seems to have had some symbolic meaning since the early 7th century.
In 607, an official correspondence that began with "from the Emperor of the rising sun" was sent to Chinese Emperor Yang of Sui. Japan is referred to as "the land of the rising sun". In the 12th-century work, The Tale of the Heike, it was written that different samurai carried drawings of the sun on their fans. One legend related to the national flag is attributed to the Buddhist priest Nichiren. During a 13th-century Mongolian invasion of Japan, Nichiren gave a sun banner to the shōgun to carry into battle; the sun is closely related to the Imperial family, as legend states the imperial throne was descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu. One of Japan's oldest flags is housed at the Unpo-ji temple in Yamanashi Prefecture. Legend states it was given by Emperor Go-Reizei to Minamoto no Yoshimitsu and has been treated as a family treasure by the Takeda clan for the past 1,000 years, at least it is older than 16th century; the earliest recorded flags in Japan date from the unification period in the late 16th century.
The flags belonged to each daimyō and were used in battle. Most of the flags were long banners charged with the mon of the daimyō lord. Members of the same family, such as a son and brother, had different flags to carry into battle; the flags served as identification, were displayed by soldiers on their backs and horses. Generals had their own flags, most of which differed from soldiers' flags due to their square shape. In 1854, during the Tokugawa shogunate, Japanese ships were ordered to hoist the Hinomaru to distinguish themselves from foreign ships. Before different types of Hinomaru flags were used on vessels that were trading with the U. S. and Russia. The Hinomaru was decreed the merchant flag of Japan in 1870 and was the legal national flag from 1870 to 1885, making it the first national flag Japan adopted. While the idea of national symbols was strange to the Japanese, the Meiji Government needed them to communicate with the outside world; this became important after the landin
Head of state
A head of state is the public persona who represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, there is a separate de facto leader with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation. In countries with parliamentary systems, the head of state is a ceremonial figurehead who does not guide day-to-day government activities or is not empowered to exercise any kind of political authority. In countries where the head of state is the head of government, the head of state serves as both a public figurehead and the highest-ranking political leader who oversees the executive branch. Former French president Charles de Gaulle, while developing the current Constitution of France, said that the head of state should embody l'esprit de la nation.
Some academic writers discuss states and governments in terms of "models". An independent nation state has a head of state, determines the extent of its head's executive powers of government or formal representational functions. In protocolary terms, the head of a sovereign, independent state is identified as the person who, according to that state's constitution, is the reigning monarch, in the case of a monarchy, or the president, in the case of a republic. Among the different state constitutions that establish different political systems, four major types of heads of state can be distinguished: The parliamentary system, with three subset models; the non-executive model, in which the head of state has either none or limited executive powers, has a ceremonial and symbolic role. The Parliamentary-Presidential model, or South African Method, where Parliament chooses the President, who acts as both Head of State and Head of Government; some argue this is unfair, becouse citizens dont get a direct say in their executive leadership.
However, this method makes it impossible for a dictator to come to power. The semi-presidential system, in which the head of state shares key executive powers with a head of government or cabinet. In a federal constituent or a dependent territory, the same role is fulfilled by the holder of an office corresponding to that of a head of state. For example, in each Canadian province the role is fulfilled by the Lieutenant Governor, whereas in most British Overseas Territories the powers and duties are performed by the Governor; the same applies to Indian states, etc.. Hong Kong's constitutional document, the Basic Law, for example, specifies the Chief Executive as the head of the special administrative region, in addition to their role as the head of government; these non-sovereign-state heads have limited or no role in diplomatic affairs, depending on the status and the norms and practices of the territories concerned. In parliamentary systems the head of state may be the nominal chief executive officer, heading the executive branch of the state, possessing limited executive power.
In reality, following a process of constitutional evolution, powers are only exercised by direction of a cabinet, presided over by a head of government, answerable to the legislature. This accountability and legitimacy requires that someone be chosen who has a majority support in the legislature, it gives the legislature the right to vote down the head of government and their cabinet, forcing it either to resign or seek a parliamentary dissolution. The executive branch is thus said to be responsible to the legislature, with the head of government and cabinet in turn accepting constitutional responsibility for offering constitutional advice to the head of state. In parliamentary constitutional monarchies, the legitimacy of the unelected head of state derives from the tacit approval of the people via the elected representatives. Accordingly, at the time of the Glorious Revolution, the English parliament acted of its own authority to name a new king and queen. In monarchies with a written constitution, the position of monarch is a creature of the constitution and could quite properly be abolished through a democratic procedure of constitutional amendment, although there are significant procedural hurdles imposed on such a procedure.
In republics with a parliamentary system the head of state is titled president and the principal functions of such presidents are ceremonial and symbolic, as opposed to the presidents in a presidential or semi-presidential system. In reality, numerous variants exist to the position of a head of state within a parliamentary system; the older the cons