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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Japanese Political Language


As Yukio Hatoyama and his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) swept to a landslide victory in Sundays's general election, we look at some election- (選挙, senkyo) related Japanese.

The Japanese word for politics is (seiji, 政治), a political party is (seito, 政党) and a politician is (seijika, 政治家). The new DPJ government (seifu, 政府) will wield political power (seiken, 政権) through the cabinet (naikaku, 内閣). Domestic politics is (naisei, 内政) and foreign policy is (gaisei, 外政).

The present administration (gyosei-fu, 行政府) is obviously a civilian government (minsei, 民政) as opposed to the military government (gunsei, 軍政) of the war years.

Japanese Political Language

Japan is a democracy (minshu-shugi, 民政主義) with a parliamentary system of government (gikai-seido, 議会制度) centered on the Diet (kokkai, 国会). The word for ministry is (sho, 省) - thus Ministry of Justice (homu-sho, 法務省) and (gaimu-sho, 外務省) - Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The DPJ is the party in power (yoto, 与党) with the LDP (jiyuminshu-to, 自由民主党) now the opposition (yato, 野党). As in America, the Democratic Party (minshu-to, 民主党) is in power with the Republican Party (kyowa-to, 共和党) in opposition.

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