Social Democratic Party (Japan)
The Social Democratic Party known as the Social Democratic Party of Japan and as the Japan Socialist Party, is a political party that at various times advocated the establishment of a socialist Japan until 1996. Since its reformation and name change in 1996, it has defined itself as a social-democratic party; the party was reformed in January 1996 by the majority of legislators of the former Socialist Party of Japan, Japan's largest opposition party in the 1955 system. However, after that, most of the legislators joined the Democratic Party of Japan. Five leftist legislators who did not join the SDP formed the New Socialist Party, which lost all its seats in the following elections; the SDP enjoyed a short period of government participation from 1993 to 1994 and formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democratic Party under 81st Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama from 1994 to January 1996. The SDP was part of ruling coalitions between January and November 1996 and from 2009 to 2010. After the 2016 House of Councillors election, it has four representatives in the national Diet, two in the lower house and two in the upper house.
Socialist and social-democratic parties have been active in Japan, under various names, since the early 20th Century—often suffering harsh government repression as well as ideological dissensions and splits. The party was known as the Social Democratic Party of Japan, was formed in 1945, following the fall of the militarist regime that had led Japan into the Second World War. At the time there was serious conflict inside the party between factions of the right and the left, the party's official name in English became the Japanese Socialist Party, or JSP, as the left-wing had advocated; the right had wanted to use the older "SDPJ". The party became the largest political party in the first general election under the Constitution of Japan in 1947, a government was formed by Tetsu Katayama, forming a coalition with the Democratic Party and the Citizens' Cooperation Party. However, due to the rebellion of Marxists in the party, the Katayama government collapsed; the party continued the coalition with the Democrats under prime minister Hitoshi Ashida.
In the period following the end of the Second World War, the Socialists played a key role in the drafting of the new Japanese constitution, adding progressive articles related to issues such as health and working conditions. The party was split in 1950/1951 into the Rightist Socialist Party, consisting of socialists who leaned more to the political centre, the Leftist Socialist Party, formed by hardline left-wingers and Marxist-Socialists; the faction farthest to the left formed a small independent party, the Workers and Farmers Party, espoused Maoism from 1948 to 1957. The two socialist parties were merged in 1955, reunifying and recreating the Social Democratic Party of Japan; the new party joined the Socialist International that year. The new opposition party had its own factions, although organised according to left-right ideological beliefs rather than what it called the "feudal personalism" of the conservative parties. In the House of Representatives election of 1958, the Japan Socialist Party gained 32.9 percent of the popular vote and 166 out of 467 seats.
This was enough result to block the attempt of constitutional amendment by the Kishi Nobusuke-led government. However, the party was again split in 1960 because of internal conflicts and the assassination of Inejiro Asanuma, the breakaway group created the Democratic Socialist Party, though the Japan Socialist Party was preserved. After that, the JSPs percentage of the popular vote and number of seats declined; the party performed well on a local level, however: by the Seventies, many areas were run by SDPJ mayors and governors, who introduced new social programmes. In the double election of July 1986 for both Diet houses, the party suffered a rout by the LDP under Yasuhiro Nakasone: its seats in the lower house fell from 112 to an all-time low of eighty-five and its share of the vote from 19.5 percent to 17.2 percent. But its popular chairwoman, Takako Doi, led it to an impressive showing in the February 1990 general election: 136 seats and 24.4 percent of the vote. Some electoral districts had more than one successful socialist candidate.
Doi's decision to put up more than one candidate for each of the 130 districts represented a controversial break with the past because, unlike their LDP counterparts, many Japan Socialist Party candidates did not want to run against each other. But the great majority of the 149 socialist candidates who ran were successful, including seven of eight women. Doi, a university professor of constitutional law before entering politics, had a tough, straight-talking manner that appealed to voters tired of the evasiveness of other politicians. Many women found her a refreshing alternative to submissive female stereotypes, in the late 1980s the public at large, in opinion polls, voted her their favorite politician. Doi's popularity, was of limited aid to the party; the powerful Shakaishugi Kyokai, su
Imperial Household Agency
The Imperial Household Agency is an agency of the government of Japan in charge of state matters concerning the Imperial Family, keeping of the Privy Seal and State Seal of Japan. From around the 8th century AD up to the Second World War, it was named the Imperial Household Ministry; the agency is unique among conventional government agencies and ministries, in that it does not directly report to the Prime Minister at the cabinet level, nor is it affected by legislation that establishes it as an Independent Administrative Institution. The Agency is headed by the Grand Steward and he is assisted by the Vice-Grand Steward; the main elements of the organization are: the Grand Steward's Secretariat the Board of Chamberlains the Crown Prince's Household the Board of Ceremonies the Archives and Mausolea Department the Maintenance and Works Department the Kyoto OfficeThe current Grand Steward is Shin'ichirō Yamamoto. The Agency's headquarters is located within the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
The Agency's duties and responsibilities encompass the daily activities, such as state visits, organising events, preservation of traditional culture, administrative functions, etc. the agency is responsible for the various imperial residences scattered throughout the country. Visitors who wish to tour the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Katsura Detached Palace, other sites, should register for guided tours with the agency first; the Agency has responsibility for the health and travel arrangements of the Imperial family, including maintaining the Imperial line. The Board of the Chamberlains, headed by the Grand Chamberlain, manages the daily life of the Emperor and the Empress, it keeps the Privy Seal and State Seal of Japan. A "Grand Master of the Board of the Crown Prince's Household" helps manage the schedules, dining menus, household maintenance of the Crown Prince and his family; the Imperial Household Agency can trace its origins back to the institutions established by the Taihō Code promulgated in 701–702 AD.
The Ritsuryō system established the namesake Ministry of the Imperial Household, a precursor to the present agency. The old code gave rise to the Ministry of Ceremonial which has its legacy in the Board of Ceremonies under the current agency, the Ministry of Civil Administration which oversaw the Bureau of Music that would now correspond to the Agency's Music Department; the basic structures remained in place until the Meiji Restoration. The early Meiji government installed Imperial Household Ministry on 15 August 1869. However, there is a convoluted history of reorganization around how the government bodies that correspond to constituent subdivisions of the current Agency were formed or empowered during this period; the Department of Shinto Affairs and the Ministry of Shinto Affairs were in existence and placed in charge of, e.g. the Imperial mausolea under the Office of Imperial Mausolea, one of the tasks designated to the Agency today. Meanwhile, the Meiji government created the Board of Ceremonies in 1871, soon renamed Bureau of Ceremonies in 1872.
And by 1872 the Ministry of Shinto Affairs was abolished, with the bulk of duties moved to the Kyōbu shō and the administration of formal ceremonial functions transferred to the aforementioned Board/Bureau of the Ceremonies. The Bureau of the Ceremonies was under the sway of the Great Council of State but was transferred to the control of the Imperial Household Ministry in September 1877; the Bureau underwent yet another name change to Board of Ceremonies in October 1884. Since the name remained unchanged and is, headed by the Master of Ceremonies. An Imperial Order in 1908 confirmed that the Imperial Household Minister, as the chief official was called, was responsible for assisting the Emperor in all matters concerning the Imperial House; the ministry oversaw the official appointments of Imperial Household Artists and commissioned their work. The Imperial Household Office was a downgraded version of the ministry, created pursuant to Imperial Household Office Law Law No. 70 of 1947 during the American Occupation of Japan.
Its staff size was downscaled from 6,200 to less than 1,500, the Office was placed under the Prime Minister of Japan. In 1949, Imperial Household Office became the Imperial Household Agency, placed under the fold of the newly created Prime Minister's Office, as an external agency attached to it. In 2001, the Imperial Household Agency was organizationally re-positioned under the Cabinet Office; the Agency has been criticized for isolating members of the Imperial Family from the Japanese public, for insisting on hidebound customs rather than permitting a more approachable, populist monarchy. These criticisms have become more muted in recent years. Prince Naruhito, in May 2004, criticised the then-Grand Steward of the Imperial Household, Toshio Yuasa, for putting pressure on Princess Masako, Naruhito's wife, to bear a male child. At a press conference, Naruhito said that his wife had "completely exhausted herself" trying to adapt to the imperial family's life, added "there were developments that denied Masako's career as well as her personality."
It has been stat
Japanese Communist Party
The Japanese Communist Party is a political party in Japan and is one of the largest non-governing communist parties in the world. The JCP advocates the establishment of a society based on socialism, democracy and opposition to militarism, it proposes to achieve its objectives by working within a democratic framework in order to achieve its goals while struggling against what it describes as "imperialism and its subordinate ally, monopoly capital". The party does not advocate violent revolution, instead it proposes a "democratic revolution" to achieve "democratic change in politics and the economy" and "the complete restoration of Japan's national sovereignty", which it sees as infringed by Japan's security alliance with the United States, although it defends Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution due to its opposition of the re-militarization of Japan. Following the most recent councillors election held on 10 July 2016, the party holds 14 seats in the House of Councillors. Following the most recent general election held on 22 October 2017, the party holds 12 seats in the House of Representatives.
The JCP is one of the largest non-ruling communist parties in the world, with 305,000 members belonging to 20,000 branches. In the wake of the Sino-Soviet split, the party began to distance itself from the Eastern Bloc from the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the JCP released a press statement titled: "We welcome the end of a party which embodied the historical evil of Great power chauvinism and hegemonism", while at the same time criticizing Eastern European countries for abandoning socialism, describing it as a "reversal of history"; the party has not suffered an internal crisis as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, nor has it considered disbanding or changing its name or fundamental objectives, as many other Communist parties have done. It polled 11.3% of the vote in 2000, 8.2% in 2003, 7.3% in 2005, 7.0% in the August 2009 election and 6.2% in 2012. In recent years its support has accrued, but as of the 2014 General Election it won 21 seats, up from eight in the previous general election.
The JCP took 7,040,130 votes in 6,062,962 in the party lists. This continues a new wave of support, evident in the 2013 Tokyo metropolitan election where the party doubled its representation. Fighting on a platform directly opposed to neoliberalism, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, attempts to rewrite the constitution, U. S. military bases on Japanese soil and nuclear power, the JCP tapped into a minority current that seeks an alternative to Japan's rightward direction. In January 2014, the JCP had 320,000 members. Following the party's advancement in the 2013 Tokyo prefectural election, there had been an increase in membership growth, with over 1,000 people joining in each of the final three months of 2013. 20% of new members during this period were aged 20–40, showing a higher ratio of young people joining the party than in the past. In 2016, membership was reported to be around 305,000; the JCP was founded on 15 July 1922 as an underground political association. Outlawed at once under the Peace Preservation Law, the JCP was subjected to repression and persecution by the military and police of Imperial Japan.
The party was legalised during the American occupation of Japan in 1945 and since has been a legal political party able to contest elections. In 1949, the party made unprecedented gains by winning 10 percent of the vote and sent 35 representatives to the Diet, but early in 1950 the Soviet Union criticized the JCP's parliamentary strategy. Stalin insisted that the JCP pursue more militant violent, actions; the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers seized this occasion to engineer the Red Purge, which forced the party leaders underground. After the Korean War broke out, the party staged some acts of terrorism or sabotage, which resulted in a loss of popular confidence. Through the end of the decade, it never won more than three percent of the votes or two seats in the Diet. So, its strong support among many intellectuals gave it a greater importance than these numbers suggest; the party did not take sides during the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. In the mid-1960s, the United States Department of State estimated the party membership to be 120,000.
Lam Peng Er argued in Pacific Affairs in 1996 that "the JCP's viability is crucial to the health of Japanese democracy" and says this is because: It is the only established party in parliament that has not been coopted by the conservative parties. It performs the watchdog role against the ruling parties without favor. More the JCP offers the only opposition candidate in prefectural governorship, city mayoral and other local elections. Despite the ostensible differences between the non-Communist parties at the national level, they support a joint candidate for governor or mayor so that all parties are assured of being part of the ruling coalition. If the JCP did not offer a candidate, there would be a walkover and Japanese voters would be offered a fait accompli without an electoral avenue of protest. Promoting women candidates in elections to win women's votes is another characteristic of the party. More women are elected under the Communist label than other political parties in Japan. In 2008, foreign media recorded an increase in support for the party due to the effect of the global financial crisis on Japanese workers.
However, the party failed to increase its number of seats in the 2009 general election. Subsequently, the projected decline of the party was halted, with the J
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan
The Deputy Prime Minister of Japan is a senior member of the Cabinet of Japan. The office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not a permanent position, existing only at the discretion of the Prime Minister. Deputy Prime Ministers possesses no special powers as such, though they will always have particular responsibilities in government, they do not automatically succeed the Prime Minister, should the latter be incapacitated or resign from the leadership of his or her political party. In practice, the designation of someone to the role of Deputy Prime Minister may provide additional practical status within cabinet, enabling the exercise of de facto power; the current Deputy Prime Minister is Tarō Asō, who took the post on 26 December 2012. Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, Kenkyusha Limited, Tokyo 1991, ISBN 4-7674-2015-6
The Constitution of the Empire of Japan, known informally as the Meiji Constitution, was the constitution of the Empire of Japan which had the proclamation on February 11, 1889, had enacted since November 29, 1890 until May 2, 1947. Enacted after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, it provided for a form of mixed constitutional and absolute monarchy, based jointly on the Prussian and British models. In theory, the Emperor of Japan was the supreme leader, the Cabinet, whose Prime Minister would be 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 group. Through the regular procedure for amendment of the Meiji Constitution, it was revised to become the "Postwar Constitution" on November 3, 1946, in force since May 3, 1947; the Meiji Restoration in 1868 provided Japan a form of constitutional monarchy based on the Prusso-German model, in which the Emperor of Japan was an active ruler and wielded considerable political power over foreign policy and diplomacy, shared with an elected Imperial Diet.
The Diet dictated domestic policy matters. After the Meiji Restoration, which restored direct political power to the emperor for the first time in over a millennium, Japan underwent a period of sweeping political and social reform and westernization aimed at strengthening Japan to the level of the nations of the Western world; the immediate consequence of the Constitution was the opening of the first Parliamentary government in Asia. The Meiji Constitution established clear limits on the power of the executive branch and the Emperor, it created an independent judiciary. Civil rights and civil liberties were guaranteed, though in many cases they were subject to limitation by law. However, it was ambiguous in wording, in many places self-contradictory; the leaders of the government and the political parties were left with the task of interpretation as to whether the Meiji Constitution could be used to justify authoritarian or liberal-democratic rule. It was the struggle between these tendencies.
The Meiji Constitution was used as a model for the 1931 Ethiopian Constitution by the Ethiopian intellectual Tekle Hawariat Tekle Mariyam. This was one of the reasons why the progressive Ethiopian intelligentsia associated with Tekle Hawariat were known as "Japanizers". By the surrender in the World War II on 2 September 1945, the Empire of Japan was deprived of sovereignty by the Allies, the Meiji Constitution was suspended. During the Occupation of Japan, the Meiji Constitution was replaced by a new document, the postwar Constitution of Japan; this document—officially an amendment to the Meiji Constitution—replaced imperial rule with a form of Western-style liberal democracy. Prior to the adoption of the Meiji Constitution, Japan had in practice no written constitution. A Chinese-inspired legal system and constitution known as ritsuryō was enacted in the 6th century. In theory the last ritsuryō code, the Yōrō Code enacted in 752, was still in force at the time of the Meiji Restoration. However, in practice the ritsuryō system of government had become an empty formality as early as in the middle of the Heian period in the 10th and 11th centuries, a development, completed by the establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate in 1185.
The high positions in the ritsuryō system remained as sinecures, the emperor was de-powered and set aside as a symbolic figure who "reigned, but did not rule". The idea of a written constitution had been a subject of heated debate within and without the government since the beginnings of the Meiji government; the conservative Meiji oligarchy viewed anything resembling democracy or republicanism with suspicion and trepidation, favored a gradualist approach. The Freedom and People's Rights Movement demanded the immediate establishment of an elected national assembly, the promulgation of a constitution. On October 21, 1881, Itō Hirobumi was appointed to chair a government bureau to research various forms of constitutional government, in 1882, Itō led an overseas mission to observe and study various systems first-hand; the United States Constitution was rejected as "too liberal". The French and Spanish models were rejected as tending toward despotism; the Reichstag and legal structures of the German Empire that of Prussia, proved to be of the most interest to the Constitutional Study Mission.
Influence was drawn from the British Westminster system, although it was considered as being unwieldy and granting too much power to Parliament. He rejected some notions as unfit for Japan, as they stemmed from European constitutional practice and Christianity, he therefore added references to the kokutai or "national polity" as the justification of the emperor's authority through his divine descent and the unbroken line of emperors, the unique relationship between subject and sovereign. The Council of State was replaced in 1885 with a cabinet headed by Itō as Prime Minister; the positions of Chancellor, Minister of the Left, Minister of the Right, which had existed since the seventh century, were abolished. In their place, the Privy Council was established in 1888 to evalua
House of Representatives (Japan)
The House of Representatives is the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. The House of Councillors is the upper house; the House of Representatives has 465 members, elected for a four-year term. Of these, 176 members are elected from 11 multi-member constituencies by a party-list system of proportional representation, 289 are elected from single-member constituencies. 233 seats are required for a majority. The overall voting system used to elect the House of Representatives is a parallel system, a form of semi-proportional representation. Under a parallel system the allocation of list seats does not take into account the outcome in the single seat constituencies. Therefore, the overall allocation of seats in the House of Representatives is not proportional, to the advantage of larger parties. In contrast, in bodies such as the German Bundestag the election of single-seat members and party list members is linked, so that the overall result respects proportional representation; the House of Representatives is the more powerful of the two houses, able to override vetoes on bills imposed by the House of Councillors with a two-thirds majority.
It can be dissolved by the Prime Minister at will, the most recent was by Shinzō Abe as on September 28, 2017. Japanese nationals aged 18 years and older may vote. Japanese nationals aged 25 years and older may run for office in the lower house; the House of Representatives has several powers not given to the House of Councillors. If a bill is passed by the lower house but is voted down by the upper house the House of Representatives can override the decision of the House of Councillors by a two-thirds vote in the affirmative. However, in the case of treaties, the budget, the selection of the prime minister, the House of Councillors can only delay passage, but not block the legislation; as a result, the House of Representatives is considered the more powerful house. Members of the House of Representatives, who are elected to a maximum of four years, sit for a shorter term than members of the House of Councillors, who are elected to full six-year terms; the lower house can be dissolved by the Prime Minister or the passage of a nonconfidence motion, while the House of Councillors cannot be dissolved.
Thus the House of Representatives is considered to be more sensitive to public opinion, is termed the "lower house". While the legislative term is nominally 4 years, early elections for the lower house are common, the median lifespan of postwar legislatures has in practice been around 3 years. For a list of individual members, see the List of members of the Diet of Japan. Shaded green: Ruling party/coalition before and after the lower house election red: Ruling party/coalition after the election = Change of government as a result of the lower house election blue: Ruling party/coalition until the election = Change of government as a result of the lower house election none: Opposition before and after the electionNote that the composition of the ruling coalition may change between lower house elections, e.g. after upper house elections. Parties who vote with the government in the Diet, but are not part of the cabinet are not shaded. Under the 1889 Meiji Constitution which took effect in 1890 and established the Imperial Diet, the House of Peers functioned as an aristocratic upper house in a format similar to the House of Lords in the Westminster system, or the Herrenhaus in the Prussian government of the time.
The elected House of Representatives served as the lower house of the Imperial Diet. In the Imperial Diet, both houses had to agree to legislation; the government and the prime minister leading it were neither responsible to nor elected by the Imperial Diet. But the right to vote on legislation and more the budget gave the House of Representatives leverage to force the government into negotiations. After an early period of frequent confrontation and temporary alliances between the cabinet and political parties in the lower house, parts of the Meiji oligarchy more sympathetic to political parties around Itō Hirobumi and parts of the liberal parties formed a more permanent alliance in form of the Rikken Seiyūkai in 1900; the confidence of the House of Representatives was never a formal requirement to govern. During the Taisho Political Crisis in 1913, a "no-confidence vote" against the 3rd Katsura Cabinet, accompanied by major demonstrations outside the Diet, was followed shortly by resignation.
Subsequently, in the period referred to as Taishō democracy, it became customary to appoint many ministers including several prime ministers from the House of Representatives – Hara Takashi became the first commoner as prime minister in 1918. In the same year, the Rice Riots had confronted the government with an unprecedented scale of domestic unrest, a socialist revolution brought the Prusso-German monarchy to its end, the system Meiji oligarchs had used as the main model for the Meiji constitution to consolidate and preserve Imperial power. Oligarchs fundamentally opposed to political parties such as Yamagata Aritomo became more inclined to cooperate with the parties to prevent a rise of socialism or other movements that might threaten Imperial rul
Judicial system of Japan
In the judicial system of Japan, the Constitution of Japan guarantees that "all judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by this constitution and the Laws". They cannot be removed from the bench "unless judicially declared mentally or physically incompetent to perform official duties," and they cannot be disciplined by executive agencies. Supreme Court judges, may be removed by a majority of voters in a referendum that occurs at the first general election following the judge's appointment and every ten years thereafter; the judiciary was far more constrained under the Meiji Constitution than it is under the present Constitution and had no authority over administrative or constitutional law cases. Moreover, the Ministry of Justice had complete and direct control over the courts' administrative affairs. Nonetheless, Professor John Haley argues that the courts maintained complete independence in the adjudication of particular cases. "Judicial independence from the political branches was emphatically established as a fundamental principle of governance in Article 57 of the Meiji Constitution.
Of all branches of government only the courts exercised authority "in the name of the Emperor." Haley argues that this was and remains a matter of great pride for Japanese judges and notes that "placed prominently in all courtrooms was the inscription "in the name of the Emperor" as a meaningful reminder to imperial officials and subjects alike that the Emperor's judges were not subject to political control or direction."A key feature of Japanese courts is the emphasis on wakai settlements by mutual agreement of the parties, with no loser or winner. These settlements have the same effect as a court judgement. For example, in 2016, the District Courts issued 63,801 judgments and orders, 52,957 claims were solved by wakai settlement. In the Summary Courts, the numbers were 40,509 respectively. Courts in Japan were following the inquisitorial procedure, for example in a shirasu court in the Edo era, where the Chief Magistrate was the prosecutor. After 1890, Japan was influenced by the European inquisitorial style of French and German law, where judges and the prosecutor had the responsibility to find the fact and apply the law.
After 1948, the courts in Japan were influenced by the American adversarial system. Japan's court system is divided into four basic tiers. At the first of the four tiers of courts are the 438 summary courts, staffed by 806 summary court judges. Summary court judges are not career judges. Qualification as a regular judge is not required. Instead, summary court judges are formally nominated for pro forma cabinet appointment by a special selection committee formally comprising all Supreme Court justices, the President of the Tokyo High Court, the deputy procurator general, representatives of the bar, others "with special knowledge and experience, they handle small claims civil cases, as well as minor criminal offenses. They are only able to imprison defendants in a few special cases. Summary Courts are presided over by one judge. Civil cases in the Summary Court are appealed to the District Court, while criminal cases are appealed to the High Court. At the second tier are the district courts, the principal courts of first instance.
There are 50 district courts with additional 203 branches. Except for minor cases, which account for 80 to 90 percent of all adjudicated cases, trials require a three-judge panel; these are the principal court of first instance. District Courts have original jurisdiction in felony cases and in civil cases where the disputed amount is over ¥1,400,000, they handle bankruptcy hearings. Each District Court trial is presided over by at least one judge: two associate judges are called in for appellate cases from Summary or Family Courts, or for criminal cases where the maximum penalty would be in excess of 1 year in prison. Attorneys sit on either side of the courtroom. In a criminal case, the accused faces the judges from the rear of the courtroom; the witness box is in the center facing the judges. There are eight High Courts, they serve defined circuits of several prefectures each. There exists the Intellectual Property High Court in Tokyo, a special branch of Tokyo High Court. A High Court sits in the same manner as a three-judge District Court.
Each court is led by a President, appointed by the Cabinet. An appeal to a High Court is called kōso; the high courts are appellate courts for either kōso appeals from district court judgments, criminal judgments from summary courts, or, in civil cases tried in summary courts, second appeals limited to issues of law. At the apex of the judicial hierarchy is the Supreme Court, located adjacent to the National Diet Building; the "Grand Bench" of the Supreme Court has associate justices, who are appointed by the Cabinet with the Emperor's attestation. The Chief Justice is appointed to office by the Emperor; the Grand Bench is subdivided into three "Petty Benches" of five justices each, who hear incoming appeals and recommend them for an audience before the Grand Bench. An appeal to the Supreme Court is called jōkoku, requires either an error in the interpretation of the C