Comparing the Government Systems of America and Japan

The United States’ government and Japan’s have many similar qualities. The United states has a federal republic, with strong democratic tradition. The U. S.'s legal system is based on English common law, with judicial review of legislative acts. Japan has a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government. Modeled after European civil law system with a bit of English-American influences, Japan also uses judicial review of legislative acts but in the supreme court. Both governments have the three branches of the legal system. The Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branch.

The United States Executive branch consists of the chief of, President George W. Bush, and a vice president, Richard B. Cheney. Both the president and the vice president sure for a four year term and are head of the government. The cabinet is another part of the executive branch and is appointed by the President with the senates approval. In the country of Japan, thee chief of state is Emperor Akihito. The head of the government is Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, compared to us we our chief of state is also the head of the government. Their cabinet is appointed by the prime minister, there are no elections the monarch is hereditary. The United States Legislative branch has a senate and the house of Representatives. While Japan has a House of Councilors and a House of Representatives. Japan, like the United States, also has a Judicial branch which includes the Supreme court. The chief justice of the supreme court is assigned by the monarch after designation by the cabinet, and all other justices are appointed by the cabinet. The United States has a Supreme court, that has nine justices in all and are appointed for life by president, United States Court of Appeal, the United States District courts, State and County courts. Terence McAuliffe, national committee chairman of the democratic party. The leader of the republican party is James S. Gilmore, and there are many other groups and/or parties of minor political significance. Some political parties and leaders are Japan Communist Party headed by Kazuo Shii, the chairman, and Tadaaki Ichida, the secretary general. The Liberal Democratic Party with Junichiro Koizumi as the president, and Taku Yamasaki, as the secretary general.

The legal voting age in the United States of America is 18 years of age and the age is universal. In Japan the legal age to vote is 20. Like almost any other country Japan and the U. S. have a national holiday. The birthday of their emperor, Akihito, on December 23(1933) is Japan's. The United States national holiday is July fourth(1776) when they won their independence from Great Britain. Japan has sent chief of mission, Ambassador Shunij Yanai to the chancery in the U. S., at 2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW, in Washington, for diplomatic representation in the United States. Japan's nation flag is white with a red disk, representing the sun without rays, in the center. The United States flag has thirteen equal horizontal strips of white and red, there is a blue rectangle in the upper left-hand corner bearing small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; known as Old Glory; the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico.

The United States has the largest most technologically powerful economy in the world with a GDP of $36,200. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and government buys needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy considerably greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, lay off surplus workers, and develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to entry in their rivals' home markets than the barriers to entry of foreign firms in US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment, although their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households.

The years 1994-2000 witnessed solid increases in real output, low inflation rates, and a drop in unemployment to below 5%. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical costs of an aging population, sizable trade deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups. Growth weakened in the fourth quarter of 2000; growth for the year 2001 almost certainly will be substantially lower than the strong 5% of 2000. The outlook for 2001 is further clouded by the continued economic problems of Japan, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, and many other countries. In Japan their government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation have helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity to the rank of second most technologically powerful economy in the world after the US and third largest economy in the world after the US and China. One notable characteristic of the economy is the working together of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors in closely-knit groups called keiretsu.

A second basic feature has been the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are now eroding. Industry, the most important sector of the economy, is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. The much smaller agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self-sufficient in rice, Japan must import about 50% of its requirements of other grain and fodder crops. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades overall real economic growth had been spectacular: a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s, and a 4% average in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s largely because of the aftereffects of over investment during the late 1980s and concretionary domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Government efforts to revive economic growth have met little success and were further hampered in late 2000 by the slowing of the US and Asian economies. The crowding of habitable land area and the aging of the population are two major long-run problems. Robotics constitutes a key long-term economic strength, with Japan possessing 410,000 of the world's 720,000 "working robots".




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