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Japanese Vocabulary for Government and Politics

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Learning Japanese can be a fascinating process, especially when it involves specific topics like government and politics. Acquiring the vocabulary for these areas not only enriches one’s understanding of the language but also the cultural and societal structures of Japan. Here we’ll explore key Japanese terms related to government and politics—vital for anyone looking to discuss current events or understand the Japanese political system.

政治 (せいじ – Seiji) – Politics
Politics relates to the activities, actions, and policies used to gain and hold power in a government or to influence the government.

(I am very concerned about the recent trends in politics.)

政府 (せいふ – Seifu) – Government
The government refers to the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state.

(I cannot agree with the policies of that government.)

民主主義 (みんしゅしゅぎ – Minshu-shugi) – Democracy
Democracy is a system of government by the whole population, typically through elected representatives.

(Japan is a democratic country.)

法律 (ほうりつ – Houritsu) – Law
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior.

(A new law has been enacted.)

憲法 (けんぽう – Kenpou) – Constitution
The constitution is the basic principles and laws of a nation that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it.

(A national referendum will be held on the constitutional amendment.)

選挙 (せんきょ – Senkyo) – Election
An election is the formal process of selecting a person for public office or accepting or rejecting a political proposition by voting.

(There are city council elections next month.)

国会 (こっかい – Kokkai) – The Diet (Japanese Parliament)
The Diet is Japan’s bicameral legislature, consisting of a lower house called the House of Representatives and an upper house called the House of Councillors.

(A new bill is being discussed in the Diet.)

首相 (しゅしょう – Shushou) – Prime Minister
The Prime Minister is the head of the government in parliamentary systems and is typically charged with administering governmental operations.

(The Prime Minister gave a speech at a press conference.)

議員 (ぎいん – Giin) – Member of Parliament
A member of parliament is an elected member of the legislative body of a country.

(She is a capable member of parliament.)

政党 (せいとう – Seitou) – Political Party
A political party is an organized group of people who share similar political views and work together to influence government policy.

(That political party takes a center-left position.)

官僚 (かんりょう – Kanryou) – Bureaucrat
A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy, usually within institutions forming the government’s civil service.

(Bureaucrats are busy enforcing new regulations.)

政策 (せいさく – Seisaku) – Policy
Policy refers to a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual.

(That policy aims at economic growth.)

汚職 (おしょく – Oshoku) – Corruption
Corruption is dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, often involving bribery.

(When corruption comes to light, a politician’s career is over.)

抗議 (こうぎ – Kougi) – Protest
Protest is a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objec

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