If you are not familiar with the government of Japan, then the thought of having a ceremonial figurehead that is the great symbol, may seem a little different. This is the role that the Japanese Emperor holds, as he holds no true power but is there for ceremonial purposes. The Japanese government does have a Prime Minister, who is an appointed official.
The Prime Minister is the one with the true power and rules along with the officials elected by the people. While having an Emperor who has no real power may seem strange to many, he is a huge symbol to the Japanese people. The line of the Emperor is an age old tradition that lives on in Japanese society.
The legislative body of government in Japan is known as the "National Diet." This is a group of Representatives who are voted in by the Japanese people for a four year period. The House of Representatives contains 480 open seats. The head of this government body and others in the government are headed by the Prime Minister.
This office is not an elected position. The Prime Minister's position is one that is appointed by the Emperor of Japan, but must first be designated and approved by Japan's National Diet. The individual is chosen from the House of Representative members and needs remain in the confidence of the "Diet" to continue to hold the office.
The judicial system of Japan is not all its own, as when forming the leadership roles the civil law practices of Germany, France and Europe were studied and the Japanese system was then based largely upon these systems. Of course, many rules and regulations that are traditionally Japanese are used and implemented within this system.
It should be said that taking information from other government systems is not a new idea in Japan. The legal system in this country evolved over time and was heavily influenced throughout history by the laws of China.
One of the aspects of the Japanese government that makes it different from other governments is that it has an Emperor as a figurehead. While the Emperor doesn't hold any real "government office" in Japan, he is seen as a symbol and is used for ceremonial purposes. The government of Japan has changed a lot over the years and it has taken a lot of its ways of ruling from other governments, such as from the Chinese government and the government of Britain.