Of great interest is the process of policy making in the Japanese political environment. It is evident that the elite in society are behind all the policies that get initiated and enacted in Japan. This paper seeks to establish whether or not the policies developed and enacted in Japan are indeed the input of the elite bureaucracy in Japan.
As intimated earlier, the government is made up of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Generally the government is a parliamentary democratic monarchy. The monarchy together with the Prime Minister forms the executive. The prime Minister heads the government which is also home to a myriad of political parties in its multi-party system. It is imperative to note that the executive part is as such exercised by the government which the prime minister heads. The Emperor of Japan is the overall head of state and as such appoints the prime minister. The prime minister before his appointment by the emperor has to have the designation of a diet and as such should win the confidence of the House of Representatives. The prime minister as earlier mentioned heads the government, heads the cabinet and appoints and disappoints the ministers of state who are largely members of the diet. Apart from the executive, there is the legislature. The legislature is basically made up of parliament which is divided into two i.e. the Diet which is basically the House of Representatives and the lower chamber which is called the House of Councilors. As such, the legislative power is exercised by both the government and the two chambers of parliament.
The judiciary on the other hand is quite independent of the other two arms of government i.e. the executive and the legislature. The judiciary deals with all matters to do with the law and is made up of all the courts, the forces and prisons. It fully exercises the judicial powers without sharing these powers with any arm of government and this is why the judiciary is independent. As far as the law is concerned, Japan is simply a constitutional monarchy. The constitutional monarchy orientation in Japan is largely borrowed from the British system and it is also immensely influenced by the European civil law states such as German and France (Martin & Stronach, 1992). This can be illustrated by the 1896 enactment of a civil code similar to the German model by the Japanese government. The code has ever since remained in effect except for the minimal modifications which were effected after the Second World War. It is imperative to note that the statutory law comes from the legislature and the national diet of Japan only acts as the rubber stamp for the emperor's approval. Actually, the current constitution provides for the role of the emperor only to promulgate the legislation passed by the legislature. As such the emperor has no constitutional powers to oppose legislation passed by the legislature. After legislation, it is the work of the judiciary to implement the legislation. The judiciary is made up of three levels of courts where the Supreme Court is at the top of the list followed by other three lower cadres of the courts (Johnson, 2002). The primary part of the Japanese statutory law is basically a collection of laws commonly known as the Six