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1. Who is the current leader of Japan?
2. What type of government does Japan have?
3. What are the political parties in Japan?
4. What is the role of the Imperial Family in Japan?
5. Who is the Japanese ambassador to the US and vice-versa?
6. What Japan-related governmental agencies are located in the US?


1. Who is the current leader of Japan?

Prime Minister Abe (Public Relations Office)

In December 2012, Shinzo Abe was re-appointed by the Diet (legislature) as Japan's 96th prime minister.  Prime Minister Abe is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the party currently holding the largest block of representation in both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors that together make up the Diet.  Mr.  Abe, who was born on September 21, 1954, has served in the House of Representatives since 1993.  For further information about Shinzo Abe and the official prime minister's residence, please visit http://japan.kantei.go.jp/index.html


2. What type of government does Japan have?

The Japanese government, a constitutional monarchy, is based on a parliamentary cabinet system.  Executive power is vested in the cabinet, which consists of the prime minister and not more than 17 ministers of state that collectively are responsible to the Diet.  The prime minister, who must be a member of the Diet, is designated by the Diet.  In practice, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Representatives.  The prime minister has the power to appoint and dismiss the ministers of state, all of whom must be civilians and a majority of whom must be members of the Diet.  Japan's constitution became effective on May 3, 1947, and consists of 103 articles. For further information, please visit

Political System of Japan (Japan Fact Sheet, Japan Information Network)


3. What are the political parties in Japan?

There are several political parties in Japan.  In December 2012, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) lost its parliamentary majority and its administration was subsequently replaced by a government-led coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the New Komeito. The party currently holding the greatest number of seats in the Diet is the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), of which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is leader.  Other parties include the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the Japan Restoration Party, the Party for Future Generations, the Your Party, the Japanese Communist Party, the People's Life Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Green Wind Party Japan, the New Party Nippon, the New Party DAICH and the New Renaissance Party.  To learn more about these please visit


4. What is the role of the Imperial Family in Japan?

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko
(Imperial Household Agency)

Under the constitution of Japan, the emperor is the symbol of the state, and has no powers related to the government.  He performs only those ceremonial acts that are stipulated in the constitution, such as awarding honors- all on the advice and approval of the cabinet.  The present Emperor, Akihito, was born in 1933 and acceded to the throne on January 7, 1989.  He is married to Empress Michiko, and they have three children.  To learn more about the Imperial Family, please visit





5. Who is the Japanese ambassador to the US and vice-versa?

Current Ambassador of Japan to the U.S. is Kenichiro Sasae.  He began to serve as the Japanese Ambassador to the United States in November, 2012.   Prior to this assignment, he served as the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan between 2010 and 2012.  For more details, please visit:

(Embassy of Japan, Washington DC)

Current U.S. Ambassador to Japan is the Honorable Caroline Kennedy.  On November 12, 2013, Caroline Kennedy was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Japan, succeeding Ambassador John V. Roos. She was nominated by President Obama on July 24, 2013 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 16. Ambassador Kennedy arrived in Tokyo on November 15 and presented her credentials to the Emperor of Japan on November 19.   For more information, please visit:


(U.S. Embassy in Tokyo)

6. What Japan-related governmental agencies are located in the US?

The following are the major organizations in the US affiliated with the government of Japan:

Embassy of Japan
2520 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
Telephone:  (202) 238-6700


There are also 14 General Consulates of Japan in the United States. To see the list of the offices, please click here

Japan Information & Cultural Center
275 Battery St., Suite 2100

San Francisco, CA 94111
Telephone:  (415) 780-6000

JETRO(Japan External Trade Organization)
575 Market St., Suite 2400

San Francisco, CA 94105 USA
Telephone: 415-392-1333
Fax: 415-788-692
Email: sfc-info@jetro.go.jp

JEI (Japan Economic Institute of America)

Although the Japan Economic Institute was phased out in 2000, publications may still be viewed on the website, above.

JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)
1776 Eye Street, NW, Suite 895

Washington, D.C.20006 USA
Telephone: 202-293-2334
Fax: 202-293-9200

Japan Federation of Construction Contractors
1825 K Street, NW #1203
Washington, DC  20006
Telephone:  202-466-3585
Fax:  202-466-3586

The Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund
2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 535
Washington, D.C. 20037
Telephone:  (202) 463-7492

New Energy & Industrial Technology Development Organization
1901 L Street, NW Suite 602
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone:  (202) 822-9298

National Space Development Agency of Japan
1301 K Street, NW Suite 560-E
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone:  (202) 333-6444

Manufactured Imports Promotion Organization
2000 L Street, NW Suite 616
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone:  (202) 659-3729

Japan International Transport Institute
1819 L Street, NW Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone:  (202) 833-9763
Researches U.S. transportation policy

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
1800 K Street, NW Suite 920
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone:  (202) 659-8190

Japan Center for International Finance
90017th Street, NW Suite 603
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone:  (202) 822-9635

Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute
1825 K Street, NW Suite 717
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone:  (202) 293-4551

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