House of councillors

Coordinates: 35°40′35.5″N 139°44′40.5″E / 35.676528°N 139.744583°E / 35.676528; 139.744583

House of Councillors
参議院
Sangiin
Type
Type Upper house
Leadership
President Masaaki Yamazaki, LDP
Since 2 August 2013
Vice President Azuma Koshiishi, DPJ
Since 2 August 2013
LDP parliamentary group chairman (Government leader) Kensei Mizote, LDP
Since 2013
DPJ parliamentary group chairman (Opposition leader) Akira Gunji, DPJ
Since 2013
Structure
Seats 242
Political groups

Government (134):

  LDP (114)
  Kōmeitō (20)

Oppositions (108):

  DPJ/Shinryokufūkai (58)
  YP (18)
  JCP (11)
  JRP (9)
  SDP (3)
  NRP (3)
  PNP (2)
  Independents (4)
Elections
Voting system Parallel voting:
Single non-transferable vote (146 seats)
Party-list proportional representation (96 seats)
Staggered elections
Last election July 21, 2013
Meeting place
National Diet Building, Tokyo
Website
www.sangiin.go.jp

The House of Councillors (参議院 Sangiin?) is the upper house of the National Diet of Japan. The House of Representatives is the lower house. The House of Councillors is the successor to the pre-war House of Peers. If the two houses disagree on matters of the budget, treaties, or designation of the prime minister, the House of Representatives can insist on its decision. In all other decisions, the House of Representatives can override a vote of the House of Councillors only by a two-thirds majority of members present.

The House of Councillors has 242 members who each serve six-year terms, two years longer than those of the House of Representatives. Councillors must be at least 30 years old, compared with 25 years old in the House of Representatives. The House cannot be dissolved, as only half of its membership is elected at each election. Of the 121 members subject to election each time, 73 are elected from the 47 prefectural districts (by single non-transferable vote) and 48 are elected from a nationwide list by proportional representation with open lists. [1] Up to the 1998 election, there were 252 members, 126 elected at a time: 76 from prefectural districts and 50 elected nationwide. At the 2001 elections these numbers were reduced and the total number was 247 (126 elected in 1998 and 121 elected in 2001) and the open list preference vote was introduced.

See List of members of the Diet of Japan for the list of current members of the House of Councillors.

Current composition

(as of 12 August 2013)[2]

Parliamentary group Councillors
mandate expires total
2016 2019
Liberal Democratic Party (Jiyūminshutō) 49 65 114
  The Democratic Party and The Shin-Ryokufukai (Minshutō・Shin-Ryokufūkai) 41 17 58
style="background-color: ;" | New Komeito (Kōmeitō) 9 11 20
Your Party (Minna no Tō) 10 8 18
Japanese Communist Party (Nihon Kyōsantō) 3 8 11
style="background-color: ;" | Japan Restoration Party (Nippon Ishin no Kai) 1 8 9
Social Democratic Party (Shakaiminshutō・Goken Rengō) 2 1 3
New Renaissance Party and Group of Independents (Shintō Kaikaku・Mushozoku no Kai)
Breakdown by political party: one NRP member, two independents
2 1 3
style="background-color: ;" | People's Life Party (Seikatsu no Tō) 2 0 2
Independents
Breakdown by political party: President (LDP), Vice-President (DPJ), one OSMP member, one independent
2 2 4
Total 121 121 242

Latest election

See also

Notes

References

  • Hayes, L. D., 2009. Introduction to Japanese Politics. 5th ed. New York: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-2279-2

External links

  • House of Councillors Website (in English)
  • House of Councillors internet TV - Official site (in Japanese)
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