House of Representatives (Japan)

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Contents

House of Representatives

衆議院

Shūgiin
211th Session of the National Diet
Crest of Shugiin.png
Type
Type
Leadership
Fukushiro Nukaga, LDP
since October 20, 2023
Banri Kaieda, CDP
since November 10, 2021
Fumio Kishida, LDP
since October 4, 2021
Leader of the Opposition
Kenta Izumi, CDP
since November 30, 2021
Structure
Seats465
Svgfiles House of Representatives Japan Nov 2021.svg
Political groups
Government (291)
  •   LDP (259) [lower-alpha 1]
  •   Kōmeitō (32)

Opposition (165)

Unaffiliated (6)

Vacant (3)

  •   Vacant (3)
Committees17 committees
Length of term
Up to 4 years
SalarySpeaker: ¥2,170,000/m
Vice Speaker: ¥1,584,000/m
Members: ¥1,294,000/m
Elections
Parallel voting:
First-past-the-post voting (289 seats)
Party-list proportional representation (176 seats)
First election
1 July 1890
Last election
31 October 2021
Next election
On or before 30 October 2025
Meeting place
Chamber of the House of Representatives of Japan.jpg
Chamber of the House of Representatives
Website
www.shugiin.go.jp OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

The House of Representatives (衆議院, Shūgiin) is the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. The House of Councillors is the upper house. The composition of the House is established by Article 41  [ ja ] and Article 42  [ ja ] of the Constitution of Japan. [1] The House of Representatives has 465 members, elected for a four-year term. Of these, 176 members are elected from 11 multi-member constituencies by a party-list system of proportional representation, and 289 are elected from single-member constituencies.

The overall voting system used to elect the House of Representatives is a parallel system, a form of semi-proportional representation. Under a parallel system the allocation of list seats does not take into account the outcome in the single seat constituencies. Therefore, the overall allocation of seats in the House of Representatives is not proportional, to the advantage of larger parties. In contrast, in bodies such as the German Bundestag or the New Zealand Parliament the election of single-seat members and party list members is linked, so that the overall result respects proportional representation fully or to some degree.[ citation needed ]

The House of Representatives is the more powerful of the two houses, able to override vetoes on bills imposed by the House of Councillors with a two-thirds majority. [2] [3] [4]

The last election for the House of Representatives was held on 31 October 2021 in which the Liberal Democratic Party won a majority government with 261 seats. Along with their coalition partner, Komeito which won 32 seats, the governing coalition holds 293 seats in total. [5]

Right to vote and candidature

Differences between the Upper and Lower Houses

The House of Representatives has several powers not given to the House of Councillors. If a bill is passed by the lower house (the House of Representatives) but is voted down by the upper house (the House of Councillors) the House of Representatives can override the decision of the House of Councillors by a two-thirds vote in the affirmative. However, in the case of treaties, the budget, and the selection of the prime minister, the House of Councillors can only delay passage, but not block the legislation. As a result, the House of Representatives is considered the more powerful house.

Members of the House of Representatives, who are elected to a maximum of four years, sit for a shorter term than members of the House of Councillors, who are elected to full six-year terms. The lower house can also be dissolved by the Prime Minister or the passage of a nonconfidence motion, while the House of Councillors cannot be dissolved. Thus the House of Representatives is considered to be more sensitive to public opinion, and is termed the "lower house".

While the legislative term is nominally 4 years, early elections for the lower house are very common, and the median lifespan of postwar legislatures has in practice been around 3 years.

Current composition

Composition of the House of Representatives of Japan
(as of 24 January 2024, before 213th National Diet) [7]
elected by 2021 Japanese general election (term: 31 October 2021 – 30 October 2025 or earlier dissolution)
Svgfiles House of Representatives Japan Nov 2021.svg
In-House Groups
[innai] kaiha
Parties Seats
by parties
Seats
Government 291
Liberal Democratic Party
Jiyūminshutō / Mushozoku no Kai
Liberal Democratic Party / Association of independents
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)258259
Independent1
Komeito
Kōmeitō
Komeito 3232
Opposition165
The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan
Rikken Minshutō・Mushozoku
Constitutional Democratic Party / Independents
Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP)9496
Social Democratic Party (SDP)1
Independent1
Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) and Free Education for All
Nippon Ishin no Kai / Kyōiku mushō-ka o jitsugen suru Kai
Nippon Ishin no Kai / Free Education for All
Nippon Ishin no Kai 4145
Free Education for All 4
Japanese Communist Party
Nihon Kyōsantō
Japanese Communist Party (JCP)1010
Democratic Party for the People
Kokumin Minshutō・Mushozoku Club
Democratic Party for the People / Independent Club
Democratic Party for the People (DPFP)77
Yūshi no Kai
Yūshi no Kai
Independent44
Reiwa Shinsengumi
Reiwa Shinsengumi
Reiwa Shinsengumi 33
Independents (government or opposition)7
Independents (not member of a caucus)
Mushozoku
LDP (Speaker: Fukushiro Nukaga)1
CDP (Vice-Speaker: Banri Kaieda)1
Independents (not member of a party)5
Total463
Vacant
Ketsuin
majoritarian seats: Shimane 1st District, Nagasaki 3rd district
(by-elections due April 28 2024, unless dissolution comes first)
22

For a list of majoritarian members and proportional members from Hokkaidō, see the List of members of the Diet of Japan.

Latest election result

2021 Japanese general election, composition.svg
PartyProportionalConstituencyTotal
seats
+/–
Votes%SeatsVotes%Seats
Liberal Democratic Party 19,914,88334.667227,626,23548.08187259–25
Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan 11,492,09520.003917,215,62129.965796New
Nippon Ishin no Kai 8,050,83014.01254,802,7938.361641+30
Komeito 7,114,28212.3823872,9311.52932+3
Japanese Communist Party 4,166,0767.2592,639,6314.59110–1
Democratic Party for the People 2,593,3964.5151,246,8122.17611New
Reiwa Shinsengumi 2,215,6483.863248,2800.4303New
Social Democratic Party 1,018,5881.770313,1930.5511–1
NHK Party 796,7881.390150,5420.2600New
Shiji Seitō Nashi 46,1420.08000
Japan First Party 33,6610.0609,4490.0200New
Yamato Party16,9700.03015,0910.0300New
New Party to Strengthen Corona Countermeasures by Change of Government6,6200.0100New
Kunimori Conservative Party29,3060.0500New
Love Earth Party5,3500.0100New
Nippon Spirits Party4,5520.01000
Reform Future Party3,6980.0100New
Renewal Party2,7500.0000New
Party for a Successful Japan1,6300.0000New
Independents2,269,1683.951212–10
Total57,465,979100.0017657,457,032100.002894650
Valid votes57,465,97997.5857,457,03297.55
Invalid/blank votes1,425,3662.421,443,2272.45
Total votes58,891,345100.0058,900,259100.00
Registered voters/turnout105,224,10355.97105,224,10355.98
Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

Historical composition

Before World War II (1890–1942)

   Shakai Minshū-tō and misc. socialist
   Jiyūtō
   Dōshikai
   Kenseikai
  Others
  Independent
   Taiseikai
   Kenseitō
   Shōwakai
   Tōhōkai
ElectionTotal
seats
Composition
1st
(1890)
300
1305457941
2nd
(1892)
941244438
3rd
(Mar.
1894)
12051346035
4th
(Sep.
1894)
10748644932
5th
(Mar.
1898)
105263710329
6th
(Aug.
1898)
92624421
7th
(1902)
376
95413217191
8th
(1903)
85445517175
9th
(1904)
379
90825519133
10th
(1908)
705864187
11th
(1912)
381
953146209
12th
(1915)
271534548108
13th
(1917)
3512160165
14th
(1920)
464
2911047278
15th
(1924)
3015111169103
16th
(1928)
466
7216719217
17th
(1930)
527395174
18th
(1932)
5146212301
19th
(1936)
18205342017415
20th
(1937)
3717934191751111
21st
(1942)
85381

After World War II (since 1946)

   JCP
   JSP
  Others
  Independent
  Vacant
   Minshutō
ElectionTotal
seats
Composition
22nd
(1946)
466
692143881294141
23rd
(1947)
414331171224124131
24th
(1949)
3548714171269264
25th
(1952)
5457471985240
26th
(1953)
1726651117635199
27th
(1955)
467
28967425185112
   JCP
   JSP
   SDP
   SDF
   Minshutō
   CDPJ
   NFP
   Minshutō
  Others
  Independent
   DPP
   Jiyū-tō
   JRP
   PNP
   NCP
   Ishin
   LDP
ElectionTotal
seats
Composition
28th
(1958)
467
1166112287
29th
(1960)
31451715296
30th
(1963)
51442312283
31st
(1967)
486
514030925277
32nd
(1969)
1490311647288
33rd
(1972)
491
381181921429271
34th
(1976)
511
1712329215517249
35th
(1979)
3910735219574248
36th
(1980)
29107323113312284
37th
(1983)
2611238316588250
38th
(1986)
512
26852649566300
39th
(1990)
1613614412145275
40th
(1993)
511
15701541330355155223
41st
(1996)
500
261521565219239
42nd
(2000)
480
201912761522317233
43rd
(2003)
96177211344237
44th
(2005)
97113218314239
45th
(2009)
97308262153119
46th
(2012)
82957153118154294
47th
(2014)
475
21273483541291
48th
(2017)
465
1225522291150284
49th
(2021)
10319610113241261

Election results for major parties since 1958

Shaded

Note that the composition of the ruling coalition may change between lower house elections, e.g. after upper house elections. Parties who vote with the government in the Diet, but are not part of the cabinet (e.g. SDP & NPH after the 1996 election) are not shaded.

Parallel electoral system (since 1996)

Vote and seats by party and segment
PartiesSegment 1996 [8] 2000 [9] 2003 [10] 2005 [11] 2009 [12] 2012 2014 2017
Total seats500480480480480480475465
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Jiyū MinshutōFPTP38.6%41.0%43.9%47.8%38.6%43.0%48.1%48.21%
16917716821964237223 [13] 226
PR32.8%28.3%35.0%38.1%26.7%27.6%33.1%33.28%
7056697755576866
Total seats239233237296119294291284
Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP) Rikken MinshutōFPTP8.75%
18
PR19.88%
37
Total seats55
Party of Hope Kibō no TōFPTP20.64%
18
PR17.36%
32
Total seats50
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Minshutō (1996–2014)
Democratic Party (DP) Minshintō (2017)
FPTP10.6%27.6%36.7%36.4%47.4%22.8%22.5%no party
nominations,
≈14 members
elected
1780105522212738
PR16.1%25.2%37.4%31.0%42.4%15.9%18.3%
35477261873035
Total seats521271771133085773
Japan Restoration Party (JRP) Nippon Ishin no Kai (2012)
Japan Innovation Party (JIP) Ishin no Tō (2014)
FPTP11.6%8.2%3.18%
14113
PR20.3%15.7%6.07%
40308
Total seats544111
(New) Komeito (K/NK/NKP/CGP/NCGP/etc.) KōmeitōFPTP2.0%1.5%1.4%1.1%1.4%1.5%1.5%
7980998
PR13.0%14.8%13.3%11.4%11.8%13.7%12.51%
24252321222621
Total seats31343121313529
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Nihon KyōsantōFPTP12.6%12.1%8.1%7.2%4.2%7.8%13.3%9.02%
20000011
PR13.1%11.2%7.8%7.2%7.0%6.1%11.4%7.9%
242099982011
Total seats262099982112
Social Democratic Party (SDP) Shakai MinshutōFPTP2.2%3.8%2.9%1.5%1.9%0.7%0.8%1.15%
44113111
PR6.4%9.4%5.1%5.5%4.2%2.3%2.5%1.69%
1115564111
Total seats1519677222
New Frontier Party (NFP) Shinshintō (1996)
Liberal Party Jiyūtō (2000)
Tomorrow Party of Japan (TPJ) Nippon Mirai no Tō (2012)
People's Life Party (PLP) Seikatsu no Tō (2014)
Liberal Party (LP) Jiyūtō (2017)
FPTP28.0%3.4%5.0%1.0%no party
nominations,
2 members
elected
96422
PR28.0%11.0%5.7%1.9%
601870
Total seats1562292
Your Party (YP) Minna no TōFPTP0.8%4.7%
24
PR4.2%8.7%
314
Total seats519
Conservative Party Hoshutō (2000)
New Conservative Party Hoshu Shintō (2003)
FPTP2.0%1.3%
74
PR0.4%
0
Total seats74
New Party Harbinger (NPH) Shintō SakigakeFPTP1.3%
2
PR1.0%
0
Total seats2

SNTV multi-member districts (1947–1993)

Vote for candidates by party and
seats by party
Parties 1958 [14] 1960 [14] 1963 [14] 1967 [14] 1969 [14] 1972 [14] 1976 [14] 1979 [14] 1980 [14] 1983 [14] 1986 [14] 1990 [14] 1993 [14]
Total seats467467467486486491511511511511512512511
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Jiyū Minshutō57.8%57.6%54.7%48.8%47.6%46.8%41.8%44.6%47.9%48.9%49.4%46.1%36.7%
287296283277288271249248284250300275223
Japan Socialist Party (JSP) Nippon Shakaitō32.9%27.6%29.0%27.9%21.4%21.9%20.7%19.7%19.3%19.5%17.2%24.4%15.4%
166145144140901181231071071128513670
Japan Renewal Party (JRP) Shinseitō10.1%
55
Kōmeitō (K/KP/CGP/etc.) Kōmeitō5.4%10.9%8.5%11.0%9.8%9.0%10.1%9.4%8.0%8.1%
25472955573358564551
Japan New Party (JNP) Nihon Shintō8.0%
35
Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) Minshatō8.8%7.4%7.4%7.7%7.0%6.3%6.8%6.6%7.3%6.4%4.8%3.5%
172330311929353238261415
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Nihon Kyōsantō2.6%2.9%4.0%4.8%6.8%10.5%10.4%10.4%9.8%9.3%8.8%8.0%7.7%
1355143817392926261615
New Party Harbinger (NPH) Shintō Sakigake3.5%
13

History

Meiji period (1890–1912)

Kuroda Kiyotaka, Satsuma samurai and prime minister in the late 1880s, coined the term "transcendentalism" (Chao Ran Zhu Yi , chozen shugi) on the occasion of the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution in 1889. The oligarchs should try to "transcend" electoral politics and govern without partisan majorities the House of Representatives. Kiyotaka Kuroda 2.jpg
Kuroda Kiyotaka, Satsuma samurai and prime minister in the late 1880s, coined the term "transcendentalism" (超然主義, chōzen shugi) on the occasion of the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution in 1889. The oligarchs should try to "transcend" electoral politics and govern without partisan majorities the House of Representatives.
Ito Hirobumi, a Choshu samurai, member of the House of Peers and prime minister of Japan on three non-consecutive occasions between 1885 and 1901. He was a main architect of the Imperial Constitution which created the Imperial Diet. When the oligarchs attempts to govern "transcendentally" mostly failed in the 1890s, he saw the necessity for permanent allies among elected political parties. ITO Hirobumi.jpg
Itō Hirobumi, a Chōshū samurai, member of the House of Peers and prime minister of Japan on three non-consecutive occasions between 1885 and 1901. He was a main architect of the Imperial Constitution which created the Imperial Diet. When the oligarchs attempts to govern "transcendentally" mostly failed in the 1890s, he saw the necessity for permanent allies among elected political parties.
Hara Takashi, although actually himself born a Morioka noble, made his career as commoner-politician and became the first and one of only three prime ministers from the House of Representatives in the Empire. Takashi Hara posing.jpg
Hara Takashi, although actually himself born a Morioka noble, made his career as commoner-politician and became the first and one of only three prime ministers from the House of Representatives in the Empire.

The Japanese parliament, then known as the Imperial Diet, was established in 1890 as a result of the 1889 Meiji Constitution. It was modeled on the parliaments of several Western countries, particularly the German Empire and the United Kingdom, because of the Emperor Meiji's westernizing reforms. The Imperial Diet consisted of two chambers, the elected House of Representatives which was the lower house, and the House of Peers which was the upper house. This format was similar to the House of Lords in the Westminster system, or the Herrenhaus in Prussia, where the upper house represented the aristocracy.

Both houses, and also the Emperor, had to agree on legislation, and even at the height of party-based constitutional government, the House of Peers could simply vote down bills deemed too liberal by the Meiji oligarchy, such as the introduction of women's suffrage, increases in local autonomy, or trade union rights. The prime minister and his government served at the Emperor's pleasure, and could not be removed by the Imperial Diet. However, the right to vote on, and if necessary to block, legislation including the budget, gave the House of Representatives leverage to force the government into negotiations. After an early period of frequent confrontation and temporary alliances between the cabinet and political parties in the lower house, parts of the Meiji oligarchy more sympathetic to political parties around Itō Hirobumi and parts of the liberal parties eventually formed a more permanent alliance, in the form of the Rikken Seiyūkai in 1900. The confidence of the House of Representatives was never a formal requirement to govern, but between 1905 and 1918, only one cabinet took office that did not enjoy majority support in the House of Representatives. [15]

Taisho and early Showa periods (1912–1937)

During the Taishō political crisis in 1913, a no-confidence vote [16] against the third Katsura government, accompanied by major demonstrations outside the Diet, was followed shortly by resignation. Subsequently, in the period often referred to as Taishō democracy, it became increasingly customary to appoint many ministers, including several prime ministers, from the House of Representatives – Hara Takashi was the first commoner to become prime minister in 1918.

In the same year, the Rice Riots had confronted the government with an unprecedented scale of domestic unrest, and a German Revolution brought the Prusso-German monarchy to an end, the very system Meiji oligarchs had used as the main model for the Meiji constitution to consolidate and preserve Imperial power. Even Yamagata Aritomo and other oligarchs that had been fundamentally opposed to political parties, became more inclined to cooperate with the still mainly bourgeoisie parties, to prevent a rise of socialism or other movements that might threaten Imperial rule. Socialist parties would not be represented in significant numbers in the lower house until the 1930s.

The initially very high census suffrage requirement was reduced several times, until the introduction of universal male suffrage in 1925. The electoral system to the House of Representatives was also fundamentally changed several times: between systems of "small" mostly single- and few multi-member electoral districts (1890s, 1920, 1924), "medium" mostly multi-member districts (1928–1942) and "large" electoral districts (usually only one, rarely two city and one counties district per prefecture; 1900s and 1910s), using first-past-the-post in single-member districts, plurality-at-large voting (1890s) or single non-transferable vote in the multi-member districts.

Influence of the House of Representatives on the government increased, and the party cabinets of the 1920s brought Japan apparently closer to a parliamentary system of government, and there were several reforms to the upper house in 1925. However, the balance of powers between the two houses and the influential role of extra-constitutional actors such as the Genrō (who still selected the prime minister) or the military (that had brought down several cabinets) remained in essence untouched. Within a year of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in September 1931, a series of assassinations and coup attempts followed. Party governments were replaced by governments of "national unity" (kyokoku itchi) which were dominated by nobles, bureaucrats and increasingly the military.

World War II and aftermath (1937–1947)

After the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and the start of war in 1937, the influence of the Imperial Diet was further diminished, though never fully eliminated, by special laws such as the National Mobilization Law and expanded powers for cabinet agencies such as the Planning Board. [17] The House of Representatives in the Empire had a four-year term and could be dissolved by the Emperor. In contrast, members of the House of Peers had either life tenure (subject to revocation by the Emperor) or a seven-year term in the case of members elected in mutual peerage elections among the three lower peerage ranks, top taxpayer and academic peerage elections. During the war, the term of the members of the House of Representatives elected in the last pre-war election of 1937 was extended by one year.

In the 1946 election to the House of Representatives, held under the U.S.-led Allied occupation of Japan, women's suffrage was introduced, and a system of "large" electoral districts (one or two per prefecture) with limited voting was used. A change in the electoral law in April 1945 had for the first time allocated 30 seats to the established colonies of the Empire: Karafuto (Sakhalin), Taiwan, and Chōsen (Korea); but this change was never implemented. Similarly, Korea and Taiwan were granted several appointed members of the House of Peers in 1945.

In 1946, both houses of the Imperial Diet (together with the Emperor) passed the postwar constitution which took effect in 1947. The Imperial Diet was renamed the National Diet, the House of Peers was replaced by an elected upper house called the House of Councillors, and the House of Representatives would now be able to override the upper house in important matters. The constitution also gave the Diet exclusive legislative authority, without involvement of the Emperor, and explicitly made the cabinet responsible to the Diet and requires that the prime minister has the support of a majority in the House of Representatives.

Late Showa period (1947–1989)

Shigeru Yoshida, prime minister 1946-1947 as a member of the House of Peers and 1948-1954 as a member of the House of Representatives, oversaw the end of the American-led occupation and the beginning of the Japanese economic miracle. Shigeru Yoshida suit.jpg
Shigeru Yoshida, prime minister 1946–1947 as a member of the House of Peers and 1948–1954 as a member of the House of Representatives, oversaw the end of the American-led occupation and the beginning of the Japanese economic miracle.

The Diet first met under the new constitution on 20 May 1947. [18] Four days later, Tetsu Katayama of the Democratic Socialist Party became Japan's first socialist prime minister and the first since the introduction of parliamentarianism.

Since the end of US rule in 1952, it has been the norm that the prime minister dissolves the House of Representatives before its 4-year term expires. Only once, in 1976, did the House last a full 4 years. It has become tradition to give nicknames to each dissolution, usually referencing a major political issue or controversy. One infamous example was on 14 March 1953, when Shigeru Yoshida dissolved the House and called for new election, after he name called people during a meeting of the budget committee. This came to be known as the "you idiot" dissolution. [19]

In 1955, prime minister Ichirō Hatoyama oversaw the creation of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which since his third government has dominated Japanese politics under the 1955 System. The LDP would govern without interruption for nearly 40 years until the 1993 election, alone save for a three-year coalition government with the New Liberal Club after the 1983 election.

Hatoyama planned to change the electoral system to first past the post, introducing a bill to that effect in March 1956. This was met with opposition from the Socialist Party, who criticized Hatoyama's plan as a "Hatomander". The bill passed the House of Representatives in May 1956, but was never voted on by the House of Councillors. Electoral reform came into vogue again in the 1970s, but Kakuei Tanaka's plan met opposition internally in the LDP and never came to a vote in either chamber of the Diet.

Heisei and Reiwa periods (since 1989)

Shinzo Abe, prime minister 2006-2007 and again 2012-2020, was the longest-serving PM in Japanese history. Shinzo Abe with Putin 2016.jpg
Shinzo Abe, prime minister 2006-2007 and again 2012-2020, was the longest-serving PM in Japanese history.

Japan entered a lengthy recession in the 1990s (see Lost Decades), which many people blamed on the LDP.[ citation needed ] In the 1993 election, the party lost power for the first time under the 1955 System, when an eight-party coalition led by Morihiro Hosokawa of the Japan New Party were able to form a government. This government fell apart after nine months, and was succeeded by the Hata Cabinet, another short-lived non-LDP government. The LDP returned to power in 1994 with the Murayama Cabinet, this time in a coalition with their old rivals the Socialists, whose leader Tomiichi Murayama became prime minister.

As with party colleagues Ichirō Hatoyama and Kakuei Tanaka before him, prime minister Toshiki Kaifu of the LDP unsuccessfully tried to reform the electoral system in 1991. However, the Morihiro Hosokawa government got the 1994 Japanese electoral reform through the Diet, introducing a parallel voting system which went into effect at the next election in 1996. Under this system, which remains in effect as of 2022, 300 (since reduced to 289) members of the House of Representatives are elected using first past the post in single-member constituencies, while 200 (since reduced to 176) members are elected in regional blocs using party-list proportional representation.

Prime minister Junichiro Koizumi introduced a bill to the House of Representatives in 2006 on changing the Imperial Household Law to allow a woman to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne (see Japanese imperial succession debate), but he withdrew the bill after the birth of Prince Hisahito of Akishino the same year. The LDP once again lost power at the 2009 election, when the Democratic Party-led Hatoyama Cabinet took over, followed in rapid succession by the Kan Cabinet and Noda Cabinet. The LDP and Komeito, who had formed a two-party government between 2003 and 2009, came to power again after the 2012 election. Shinzo Abe, who had previously led the First Abe Cabinet, was prime minister for another stint lasting eight years, stepping down for health reasons in 2020.

When the Emperor Akihito expressed interest in abdicating, the Diet passed the Emperor Abdication Law in 2017, allowing for the 2019 Japanese imperial transition and the succession to the throne of Naruhito. In December 2022, in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and increased military cooperation between China and Russia, prime minister Fumio Kishida announced plans to significantly increase funding for the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

List of House of Representatives general elections

19th century

ElectionDateElected prime minister
(during term)
TurnoutSeatsDate of
dissolution (D) /
expiration of term (E)
Registered
voters
Majority party Seats Share Emperor
(Reign)
Imperial Diet (1890-1947); upper house: House of Peers Meiji
Flag of the Japanese Emperor.svg
(1867–1912)
1st 1 July 1890 Yamagata Aritomo 93.91%300450,872 Constitutional Liberal 13043.33%
(Matsukata Masayoshi)
2nd 15 February 1892 Matsukata Masayoshi 91.59%(D) 25 December 1891434,5949431.33%
(Itō Hirobumi)
3rd 1 March 1894 Itō Hirobumi 88.76%(D) 30 December 1893440,11312040.00%
4th 1 September 1894 Itō Hirobumi 84.84%(D) 2 June 1894460,48310735.66%
(Matsukata Masayoshi)
(Itō Hirobumi)
5th 15 March 1898 Itō Hirobumi 87.50%(D) 25 December 1897452,63710535.00%
(Ōkuma Shigenobu)
6th 10 August 1898 Ōkuma Shigenobu 79.91%(D) 10 June 1898502,292 Kensei Hontō 12441.33%
(Yamagata Aritomo)
(Itō Hirobumi)
(Katsura Tarō)
ElectionDateElected prime minister
(during term)
TurnoutSeatsDate of
dissolution (D) /
expiration of term (E)
Registered
voters
Majority party Seats Share Emperor
(Reign)

20th century

ElectionDateElected prime minister
(during term)
TurnoutSeatsDate of
dissolution (D) /
expiration of term (E)
Registered
voters
Majority party Seats Share Emperor
(Reign)
7th 10 August 1902 Katsura Tarō 88.39%376(E) 9 August 1902982,868 Rikken Seiyūkai 19150.79% Meiji
Flag of the Japanese Emperor.svg
(1867–1912)
8th 1 March 190386.17%(D) 28 December 1902958,32217546.54%
9th 1 March 1904 Katsura Tarō 86.06%379(D) 11 December 1903762,44513335.09%
(Saionji Kinmochi)
10th 15 May 1908 Saionji Kinmochi 85.29%(E) 27 March 19081,590,04518749.34%
(Katsura Tarō)
(Saionji Kinmochi)
11th 15 May 1912 Saionji Kinmochi 89.58%381(E) 14 May 19121,506,14320954.85%
(Katsura Tarō) Taishō
Flag of the Japanese Emperor.svg
(1912–1926)
(Yamamoto Gonnohyōe)
(Ōkuma Shigenobu)
12th 25 March 1915 Ōkuma Shigenobu 92.13%(D) 25 December 19141,546,411 Rikken Dōshikai 15340.15%
(Terauchi Masatake)
13th 20 April 1917 Terauchi Masatake 91.92%(D) 25 January 19171,422,126 Rikken Seiyūkai 16543.30%
(Hara Takashi)
14th 10 May 1920 Hara Takashi 86.73%464(D) 26 February 19203,069,14827859.91%
(Takahashi Korekiyo)
(Katō Tomosaburō)
(Yamamoto Gonnohyōe)
(Kiyoura Keigo)
15th 10 May 1924 Katō Takaaki 91.18%(D) 31 January 19243,288,405 Kenseikai 15132.54%
(Wakatsuki Reijirō)
(Tanaka Giichi) Shōwa
Flag of the Japanese Emperor.svg
(1926–1989)
16th 20 February 1928 Tanaka Giichi 80.36%466(D) 21 January 192812,408,678 Rikken Seiyūkai 21846.78%
(Hamaguchi Osachi)
17th 20 February 1930 Hamaguchi Osachi 83.34%(D) 21 January 193012,812,895 Rikken Minseitō 27358.58%
(Wakatsuki Reijirō)
(Inukai Tsuyoshi)
18th 20 February 1932 Inukai Tsuyoshi 81.68%(D) 21 January 193213,237,841 Rikken Seiyukai 30164.59%
(Saitō Makoto)
(Keisuke Okada)
19th 20 February 1936 Kōki Hirota 78.65%(D) 21 January 193614,479,553 Rikken Minseitō 20543.99%
(Senjūrō Hayashi)
20th 30 April 1937 Senjūrō Hayashi 73.31%(D) 31 March 193714,618,29817938.41%
(Fumimaro Konoe)
(Hiranuma Kiichirō)
(Nobuyuki Abe)
(Mitsumasa Yonai)
(Fumimaro Konoe)
(Fumimaro Konoe)
(Hideki Tojo)
21st 30 April 1942 Hideki Tojo 83.16%(E) 29 April 194214,594,287 Imperial Rule Assistance Association 38181.75%
(Kuniaki Koiso)
(Kantarō Suzuki)
(Kantarō Suzuki)
(Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni)
(Kijūrō Shidehara)
22nd 10 April 1946 Shigeru Yoshida 72.08%(D) 18 December 194536,878,420 Liberal 14130.25%
23rd 25 April 1947 Tetsu Katayama 67.95%(D) 31 March 194740,907,493 Socialist 14330.68%
(Hitoshi Ashida)
(Shigeru Yoshida)
National Diet (1947-present); upper house: House of Councillors
24th 23 January 1949 Shigeru Yoshida 74.04%466(D) 23 December 194842,105,300 Democratic Liberal 26456.65%
(Shigeru Yoshida)
25th 1 October 1952 Shigeru Yoshida 76.43%(D) 28 August 195246,772,584 Liberal 24051.50%
26th 19 April 1953 Shigeru Yoshida 74.22%(D) 14 March 195347,090,167 Liberal
Yoshida faction
19942.70%
(Ichirō Hatoyama)
27th 27 February 1955 Ichirō Hatoyama 75.84%467(D) 24 January 195549,235,375 Democratic 18539.61%
(Ichirō Hatoyama)
(Tanzan Ishibashi)
(Nobusuke Kishi)
28th 22 May 1958 Nobusuke Kishi 76.99%(D) 25 April 195852,013,529 Liberal Democratic 28761.45%
(Hayato Ikeda)
29th 20 November 1960 Hayato Ikeda 73.51%(D) 24 October 196054,312,99329663.38%
30th 21 November 1963 Hayato Ikeda 71.14%(D) 23 October 196358,281,67828360.59%
(Eisaku Satō)
31st 29 January 1967 Eisaku Satō 73.99%486(D) 27 December 196662,992,79627756.99%
32nd 27 December 1969 Eisaku Satō 68.51%(D) 2 December 196969,260,42428859.25%
(Kakuei Tanaka)
33rd 10 December 1972 Kakuei Tanaka 71.76%491(D) 13 November 197273,769,63627155.19%
(Takeo Miki)
34th 5 December 1976 Takeo Fukuda 73.45%511(E) 9 December 197677,926,58824948.72%
(Masayoshi Ōhira)
35th 7 October 1979 Masayoshi Ōhira 68.01%(D) 7 September 197980,169,92424848.53%
36th 22 June 1980 Zenkō Suzuki 74.57%(D) 19 May 198080,925,03428455.57%
(Yasuhiro Nakasone)
37th 18 December 1983 Yasuhiro Nakasone 67.94%(D) 28 November 198384,252,60825048.92%
38th 2 June 1986 Yasuhiro Nakasone 71.40%512(D) 2 June 198686,426,84530058.59%
(Noboru Takeshita)
(Sōsuke Uno) Akihito
(Heisei)

Flag of the Japanese Emperor.svg
(1989–2019)
(Toshiki Kaifu)
39th 18 February 1990 Toshiki Kaifu 73.31%(D) 24 January 199090,322,90827553.71%
(Kiichi Miyazawa)
40th 18 July 1993 Morihiro Hosokawa 67.26%511(D) 18 June 199394,477,81622343.63%
(Tsutomu Hata)
(Tomiichi Murayama)
(Ryūtarō Hashimoto)
41st 20 October 1996 Ryūtarō Hashimoto 59.65%500(D) 27 September 199697,680,71923947.80%
(Keizō Obuchi)
(Yoshirō Mori)
42nd 25 June 2000 Yoshirō Mori 62.49%480(D) 2 June 2000100,492,32823348.54%
(Junichiro Koizumi)
ElectionDateElected prime minister
(during term)
TurnoutSeatsDate of
dissolution (D) /
expiration of term (E)
Registered
voters
Majority party Seats Share Emperor
(Reign)

21st century

ElectionDateElected prime minister
(during term)
TurnoutSeatsDate of
dissolution (D) /
expiration of term (E)
Registered
voters
Majority party Seats Share Emperor
(Reign)
43rd 9 November 2003 Junichiro Koizumi 59.86%480(D) 10 October 2003102,306,684 Liberal Democratic 23749.37% Akihito
(Heisei)

Flag of the Japanese Emperor.svg
(1989–2019)
44th 11 September 2005 Junichiro Koizumi 67.51%(D) 8 August 2005103,067,96629661.66%
(Shinzo Abe)
(Yasuo Fukuda)
(Tarō Asō)
45th 30 August 2009 Yukio Hatoyama 69.28%(D) 21 July 2009104,057,361 Democratic 30864.16%
(Naoto Kan)
(Yoshihiko Noda)
46th 16 December 2012 Shinzo Abe 59.32%(D) 16 November 2012103,959,866 Liberal Democratic 29461.25%
47th 14 December 201452.66%475(D) 21 November 2014104,067,10429161.26%
48th 22 October 2017 Shinzo Abe 53.68%465(D) 28 September 2017106,091,22928461.08%
(Yoshihide Suga) Naruhito
(Reiwa)

Flag of the Japanese Emperor.svg
(2019–present)
(Fumio Kishida)
49th 31 October 2021 Fumio Kishida 55.93%(D) 14 October 2021105,622,75826156.12%
ElectionDateElected prime minister
(during term)
TurnoutSeatsDate of
dissolution (D) /
expiration of term (E)
Registered
voters
Majority party Seats Share Emperor
(Reign)

See also

Notes

    •   LDP (258)
    •   Independent (1)
    •   CDP (94)
    •   SDP (1)
    •   Independent (1)
    •   LDP (1/Speaker)
    •   CDP (1/Vice Speaker)
    •   Independent (4)

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