House of Representatives
|The 48th House of Representatives|
| Government (307)|
| Parallel voting:|
First past the post (289 seats)
Party-list proportional representation (176 seats)
|October 22, 2017|
|On or before October 22, 2021|
|Chamber of the House of Representatives|
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 41and Article 42 of the Constitution of Japan. 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. 233 seats are required for a majority.
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 Scottish 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. The house is currently led by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
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.
| In-House Groups |
|Liberal Democratic Party|
Jiyūminshutō / Mushozoku no Kai
Liberal Democratic Party/Association of Independents
|The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Independent |
Constitutional Democratic Party/Independents
|CDP, SDP, independents||114|
|Japanese Communist Party|
|Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party)|
Nippon Ishin no Kai・Mushozoku no Kai
Nippon Ishin no Kai/Association of Independents
|Democratic Party For the People |
Kokumin Minshutō・Mushozoku Kurabu
Democratic Party for the People/Independents Club
Members not affiliated with a parliamentary group/non-inscrits
|LDP (Speaker), CDP (Vice-Speaker), N-Koku, independents||10|
|Vacant: Tokyo 9, Hiroshima 3 (no more by-elections before the 2021 general House of Representatives election)||2|
For a list of majoritarian members and proportional members from Hokkaidō, see the List of members of the Diet of Japan.
|Liberal Democratic Party||18,555,717||33.28||66||26,500,777||47.82||218||284||–7|
|Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan||11,084,890||19.88||37||4,726,326||8.53||18||55||New|
|Kibō no Tō||9,677,524||17.36||32||11,437,602||20.64||18||50||New|
|Japanese Communist Party||4,404,081||7.90||11||4,998,932||9.02||1||12||–9|
|Nippon Ishin no Kai||3,387,097||6.07||8||1,765,053||3.18||3||11||New|
|Social Democratic Party||941,324||1.69||1||634,770||1.15||1||2||0|
|Happiness Realization Party||292,084||0.52||0||159,171||0.29||0||0||0|
|New Party Daichi||226,552||0.41||0||0||New|
|Shiji Seitō Nashi||125,019||0.22||0||0||0|
|Party for Japanese Kokoro||85,552||0.15||0||0||–2|
|Assembly for Zero Parliamentary Compensation||21,892||0.04||0||0||New|
|New Party Constitution Article 9||6,655||0.01||0||0||New|
|Japan New Party||5,291||0.01||0||0||New|
|Assembly to Make Nagano Prefecture the Best Economy in Japan||3,784||0.01||0||0||New|
|Workers Party Aiming for Liberation of Labor||3,133||0.01||0||0||New|
|Association to Innovate Metropolitan Government||2,931||0.01||0||0||New|
|Katsuko Inumaru and Republican Party||1,570||0.00||0||0||0|
|World Economic Community Party||1,307||0.00||0||0||0|
|Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications|
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.
|Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Jiyū Minshutō||FPTP||38.6%||41.0%||43.9%||47.8%||38.6%||43.0%||48.1%||48.21%|
|Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP) Rikken Minshutō||FPTP||–||8.75%|
|Party of Hope Kibō no Tō||FPTP||–||20.64%|
| Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Minshutō (1996–2014)|
Democratic Party (DP) Minshintō (2017)
| Japan Restoration Party (JRP) Nippon Ishin no Kai (2012)|
Japan Innovation Party (JIP) Ishin no Tō (2014)
|(New) Komeito (K/NK/NKP/CGP/NCGP/etc.) Kōmeitō||FPTP||–||2.0%||1.5%||1.4%||1.1%||1.4%||1.5%||1.5%|
|Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Nihon Kyōsantō||FPTP||12.6%||12.1%||8.1%||7.2%||4.2%||7.8%||13.3%||9.02%|
|Social Democratic Party (SDP) Shakai Minshutō||FPTP||2.2%||3.8%||2.9%||1.5%||1.9%||0.7%||0.8%||1.15%|
| 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)
|Your Party (YP) Minna no Tō||FPTP||–||0.8%||4.7%||–|
| Conservative Party Hoshutō (2000)|
New Conservative Party Hoshu Shintō (2003)
|New Party Harbinger (NPH) Shintō Sakigake||FPTP||1.3%||–|
|Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Jiyū Minshutō||57.8%||57.6%||54.7%||48.8%||47.6%||46.8%||41.8%||44.6%||47.9%||48.9%||49.4%||46.1%||36.7%|
|Japan Socialist Party (JSP) Nihon Shakaitō||32.9%||27.6%||29.0%||27.9%||21.4%||21.9%||20.7%||19.7%||19.3%||19.5%||17.2%||24.4%||15.4%|
|Japan Renewal Party (JRP) Shinseitō||–||10.1%|
|Kōmeitō (K/KP/CGP/etc.) Kōmeitō||–||5.4%||10.9%||8.5%||11.0%||9.8%||9.0%||10.1%||9.4%||8.0%||8.1%|
|Japan New Party (JNP) Nihon Shintō||–||8.0%|
|Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) Minshatō||–||8.8%||7.4%||7.4%||7.7%||7.0%||6.3%||6.8%||6.6%||7.3%||6.4%||4.8%||3.5%|
|Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Nihon Kyōsantō||2.6%||2.9%||4.0%||4.8%||6.8%||10.5%||10.4%||10.4%||9.8%||9.3%||8.8%||8.0%||7.7%|
|New Party Harbinger (NPH) Shintō Sakigake||–||3.5%|
This section needs expansionwith: history after 1947. You can help by adding to it. (August 2020)
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.
During the Taishō political crisis in 1913, a no-confidence voteagainst 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.
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.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.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2020)
The Diet first met under the new constitution on 20 May 1947.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 resorted to name calling people during a meeting of the budget committee. This came to be known as the "you idiot" dissolution.
This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (August 2020)
The Japanese political process has three types of elections: general elections to the House of Representatives held every four years, elections to the House of Councillors held every three years to choose half of its members, and local elections held every four years for offices in prefectures and municipalities. Elections are supervised by Election Administration Commissions at each administrative level under the general direction of the Central Election Management Council, an extraordinary organ attached to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). The minimum voting age in Japan's non-compulsory electoral system was reduced from twenty to eighteen years in June 2016. Voters must satisfy a three-month residency requirement before being allowed to cast a ballot.
Akihiro Ota is a Japanese politician of the Komeito Party, currently serving his seventh term in the House of Representatives in the National Diet. Ota has represented three districts within the Tokyo metropolis since first entering the national Diet in 1993. He served as president of the Komeito Party from 2006 until the general election in September 2009, at which time he lost his seat in the Diet. Upon his return to the House in December 2012, Ota was appointed as the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, a post he held until October 2015.
Ai Aoki is a Japanese politician and current member of the People's Life Party. She is a native of Tokyo and graduate of Chiba University. After a career in education, Aoki entered politics in 2003 and has served a total of four terms in the national Diet of Japan, having sat in the House of Representatives from 2003–2005 and 2009–2014, and a partial term in the House of Councillors from 2007–2009. Aoki was returned to the House of Councillors in the election held on 10 July 2016.
Tokyo 18th district is a constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in western Tokyo and consists of the cities of Musashino, Koganei and Fuchū. Until 2002, it included Mitaka instead of Fuchū. As of 2016, 436,338 eligible voters were registered in the district.
Wakayama 3rd district is a constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in Wakayama Prefecture and consists of Arida, Gobo, Shingu, and Tanabe cities and the Arida, Hidaka, Higashimuro, and Nishimuro districts. As of 2012, 298,296 eligible voters were registered in the district.
Kyōto 2nd district is a constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in central Kyoto and consists of the Kyoto city wards of Sakyō, Higashiyama and Yamashina. As of 2012, 267,926 eligible voters were registered in the district.
Hiroshima 7th district is a constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in Hiroshima and consists of the city of Fukuyama. As of 2012, 377,672 eligible voters were registered in the district.
Hyogo 11th district is a constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in Southwestern Hyōgo and is based on the 1995 borders of the city of Himeji; the former towns of Ieshima, Yumesaki, Kōdera and Yasutomi that merged into Himeji in 2006 are part of the 12th district. As of September 2015, 387,509 eligible voters were registered in the district.
Ibaraki 4th district is a single-member constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in Northern Ibaraki and consists of the cities of Hitachinaka, Hitachiōta, Hitachiōmiya, Naka and the Naka and Kuji counties. As of 2012, 303,835 eligible voters were registered in the district.
Gunma 4th district is a single-member constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in Southern Gunma and consists of the city of Fujioka, the Southern part of Takasaki city as well as Kanna town and Ueno village in Tano county. As of 2009, 292,356 eligible voters were registered in the district.
Fukuoka 8th district is a single-member constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It covers Northern central parts of Fukuoka including the city of Iizuka, home to the Asō family and Tarō Asō, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) faction leader and the only representative for the 8th district since its creation. He was elected LDP president in 2008 against Kaoru Yosano and three other candidates, but resigned one year later following the most devastating general election result in party history – his successor would be the second LDP president in history not to become prime minister after his election. Yet, Asō carried his own district by an overwhelming margin in 2009.
Shiga 1st district is a single-member constituency of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the national Diet of Japan. It is located in Western Shiga and covers the cities of Ōtsu, the prefectural capital, and Takashima. As of 2009, 314,742 eligible voters were registered in the district.
Hokkaidō 1st district is a single-member constituency of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the national Diet of Japan. It is located in Western Hokkaidō and consists of Sapporo city's Chūō ("Centre"), Minami ("South") and Nishi ("West") wards. As of 2015, 493,140 eligible voters were registered in the district, giving it the lowest electoral weight in Hokkaidō.
Ōsaka 12th district is a single-member electoral district for the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. It is located in North-eastern Osaka and covers the cities of Neyagawa, Daitō and Shijōnawate. As of September 2012, 342,226 voters were registered district, giving its voters slightly above average vote weight.
Kanagawa 10th district is a single-member electoral district for the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. It is located in North-eastern Kanagawa Prefecture and consists of Kawasaki City's three eastern wards of Kawasaki, Saiwai and Nakahara. As of September 2011, 494,755 voters were registered in the district, giving its voters the second lowest vote weight in the country behind Chiba 4th district.
Niigata 5th district is a single-member electoral district for the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. It is located in the central, Chūetsu region of Niigata and covers parts of Nagaoka City, the cities of Ojiya, Uonuma, Minami-Uonuma as well as the former Minami-Uonuma County that, as of 2012, only has one remaining municipality: Yuzawa Town. As of September 2012, 282,904 voters were registered in Niigata 5th district, giving its voters above average vote weight.
Yamaguchi 4th district is a single-member electoral district for the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. It is located in Western Yamaguchi and consists of the cities of Shimonoseki and Nagato. As of September 2011, 266,456 voters were registered in the district, giving its voters well above average vote weight. Unlike many prefectures where the capital is also the most populous city, Yamaguchi's major city is Shimonoseki, located at the western tip of Honshū and part of the Fukuoka-Kitakyūshū metropolitan area.
Yamanashi 1st district is a single-member electoral district for the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. It covers Northern Yamanashi, namely the capital Kōfu, the cities of Yamanashi and Kōshū and the former town of Kasugai in today's Fuefuki City. As of September 2012, 218,115 voters were registered in the district, giving its voters one of the highest vote weights in the country.
Shiga 2nd district is a single-member electoral district for the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. It covers Northeastern Shiga, today namely the cities of Hikone, Nagahama, Maibara, the dissolved towns of Aitō and Kotō in present-day Higashiōmi City and the former counties of Echi and Inukami. The district borders were redrawn in the 2002 redistricting and reapportionment, before that it had reached further to the South and covered Yōkaichi and Ōmihachiman cities and all of Echi, Kanzaki and Gamō counties. As of 2012, 264,168 voters resided in the district.
Niigata 1st district is a constituency of the House of Representatives in the National Diet of Japan, represented by Chinami Nishimura of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan since 2017. It is located in Niigata City, the capital of Niigata Prefecture, and covers central parts of former Niigata City. It has the smallest district area among the House districts in Niigata Prefecture. As of 2017, 439,968 eligible voters were registered in the district