Saturday, August 25, 2007

House of Representatives of Japan
This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Japan
The House of Representatives (衆議院 Shūgiin) is the lower house of the Diet of Japan. The House of Councillors of Japan is the upper house.
The House of Representatives has 480 members, elected for four-year terms. Of these, 180 are elected from 11 multi-member constituencies by proportional representation, and 300 are elected from single-member constituencies. 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. It can be dissolved by the Prime Minister at will, as it was by Junichiro Koizumi on August 8, 2005, due to a division within his Liberal Democratic Party.

Politics of Japan
Emperor (list)

  • Akihito
    Imperial Household Agency
    Prime Minister (list)

    • Shinzo Abe
      National Diet

      • House of Councillors
        House of Representatives
        Judicial system

        • 1990 - 1993 - 1996 - 2000 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2007
          Political parties

          • LDP - DPJ - NKP - JCP - SDP
            Political extremism
            Fiscal policy
            Foreign policy / Foreign relations
            Human rights Right to vote and candidature
            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 other chamber 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".
            The term "lower house" is also a legacy of the 1889 Meiji Constitution, when the House of Peers functioned as an aristocratic upper house in a format similar to the House of Lords in the Westminster system, or the Reichsrat in the Prussian-based German government of the time.

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