The Kenseikai was a short-lived political party in the pre-war Empire of Japan. The Kenseikai was founded on 10 October 1916, as a merger of the Rikken Dōshikai, Chūseikai and the Kōyū Club. Led by Katō Takaaki, the new party was united by its opposition to the policies of the ruling Rikken Seiyūkai under Prime Minister Ōkuma Shigenobu; the party was supported financially by the Mitsubishi zaibatsu, due to family ties with Katō Takaaki. Party leaders included Hamaguchi Osachi and Adachi Kenzō; the merger gave the Kenseikai a total of 198 seats in the Lower House of the Diet of Japan, thus forming a majority, raised the expectation that Katō Takaaki would become the next Prime Minister. However, the position of Prime Minister was a direct appointment from the Emperor per advice provided by the genrō, in this case, the genrō unexpectedly nominated General Terauchi Masatake instead. In protest, the Kenseikai initiated a no confidence motion, which subsequently dissolved the Diet and led to the political isolation of the Kenseikai for a decade.
During its period in the opposition, the Kenseikai opposed the Siberian Intervention and pushed for greater rights for labor unions. In the 1924 General Election, the Kenseikai secured 150 seats, making it the largest single party in the Lower House, but without a majority. Katō agreed to form a coalition government with the Rikken Seiyukai, which had 100 seats, the Kakushin Club, which had 30 seats; this three-party coalition was the first ruling coalition government in Japanese history, used its majority to focus on domestic political reform and a moderate foreign policy. It pushed for rule under the Meiji Constitution, without influence or control by the genrō, it favored universal male suffrage and much needed reforms in labor laws and in the economic situation for farmers. However, despite its liberal image, the coalition passed the Peace Preservation Law in 1925. Following Katō's death, the party was led by Wakatsuki Reijirō, but his cabinet was unable to weather the Shōwa financial crisis of 1927.
The Kenseikai merged with the Seiyū Hontō in June 1927 to form the Rikken Minseitō. Garon, Sheldon; the State and Labor in Modern Japan. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23915-7. Gordon, Andrew. A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-533922-3. Jansen, Marius B.. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347. A History of Japan. Tutte Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-2097-X Sims, Richard. Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868–2000. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06838-6
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Economic history of Japan
The economic history of Japan is most studied for the spectacular social and economic growth in the 1800s after the Meiji Restoration, when it became the first non-Western great power, for its expansion after the Second World War, when Japan recovered from devastation to become the world's second largest economy behind the United States, from 2013 behind China as well. Scholars have evaluated the nation's unique economic position during the Cold War, with exports going to both U. S.- and Soviet-aligned powers, have taken keen interest in the situation of the post-Cold War period of the Japanese "lost decades". Renaissance Europeans were quite admiring of Japan when they reached the country in the 16th century. Japan was considered a country immensely rich in precious metals, a view that owed its conception to Marco Polo's accounts of gilded temples and palaces, but due to the relative abundance of surface ores characteristic of a volcanic country, before large-scale deep-mining became possible in Industrial times.
Japan was to become a major exporter of silver during the period. Japan was perceived as a sophisticated feudal society with a high culture and advanced pre-industrial technology, it was densely urbanized. Prominent European observers of the time seemed to agree that the Japanese "excel not only all the other Oriental peoples, they surpass the Europeans as well". Early European visitors were amazed by the quality of Japanese metalsmithing; this stems from the fact that Japan itself is rather poor in natural resources found in Europe iron. Thus, the Japanese were famously frugal with their consumable resources; the cargo of the first Portuguese ships that arrived in Japan consisted entirely of Chinese goods. The Japanese were much looking forward to acquiring such goods, but had been prohibited from any contacts with the Emperor of China, as a punishment for Wakō pirate raids; the Portuguese therefore found the opportunity to act as intermediaries in Asian trade. From the time of the acquisition of Macau in 1557, their formal recognition as trade partners by the Chinese, the Portuguese started to regulate trade to Japan, by selling to the highest bidder the annual "Captaincy" to Japan, in effect conferring exclusive trading rights for a single carrack bound for Japan every year.
The carracks were large ships between 1000 and 1500 tons, about double or triple the size of a large galleon or junk. That trade continued with few interruptions until 1638, when it was prohibited on the ground that the ships were smuggling priests into Japan. Portuguese trade was progressively more and more challenged by Chinese smugglers on junks, Japanese Red Seal Ships from around 1592, Spanish ships from Manila from around 1600, the Dutch from 1609, the English from 1613; the Dutch, rather than "Nanban" were called "Kōmō" by the Japanese, first arrived in Japan in 1600, on board the Liefde. Their pilot was the first Englishman to reach Japan. In 1605, two of the Liefde's crew were sent to Pattani by Tokugawa Ieyasu, to invite Dutch trade to Japan; the head of the Pattani Dutch trading post, Victor Sprinckel, refused on the ground that he was too busy dealing with Portuguese opposition in Southeast Asia. In 1609 however, the Dutch Jacques Specx arrived with two ships in Hirado, through Adams obtained trading privileges from Ieyasu.
The Dutch engaged in piracy and naval combat to weaken Portuguese and Spanish shipping in the Pacific, became the only westerners to be allowed access to Japan from the small enclave of Dejima after 1638 and for the next two centuries. The beginning of the Edo period coincides with the last decades of the Nanban trade period, during which intense interaction with European powers, on the economic and religious plane, took place. At the beginning of the Edo period, Japan built her first ocean-going Western-style warships, such as the San Juan Bautista, a 500-ton galleon-type ship that transported a Japanese embassy headed by Hasekura Tsunenaga to the Americas, continued to Europe. During that period, the bakufu commissioned around 350 Red Seal Ships, three-masted and armed trade ships, for intra-Asian commerce. Japanese adventurers, such as Yamada Nagamasa, were active throughout Asia. In order to eradicate the influence of Christianization, Japan entered in a period of isolation called sakoku, during which its economy enjoyed stability and mild progress.
But not long after, in the 1650s, the production of Japanese export porcelain increased when civil war put the main Chinese center of porcelain production, in Jingdezhen, out of action for several decades. For the rest of the 17th century most Japanese porcelain production was in Kyushu for export through the Chinese and Dutch; the trade dwindled under renewed Chinese competition by the 1740s, before resuming after the opening of Japan in the mid-19th century. Economic development during the Edo period included urbanization, increased shipping of commodities, a significant expansion of domestic and foreign commerce, a diffusion of trade and handicraft industries; the construction trades flourished, along with banking facilities and merchant associations. Han authorities oversaw the rising agricultural production and the spread of rural handicrafts. By the mid-18th century, Edo had a population of more than 1 million and Osaka and Ky
The National Diet is Japan's bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house called the House of Representatives, an upper house, called the House of Councillors. Both houses of the Diet are directly elected under parallel voting systems. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally responsible for selecting the Prime Minister; the Diet was first convened as the Imperial Diet in 1889 as a result of adopting the Meiji Constitution. The Diet took its current form in 1947 upon the adoption of the post-war constitution, which considers it the highest organ of state power; the National Diet Building is in Nagatachō, Tokyo. The houses of the Diet are both elected under parallel voting systems; this means that the seats to be filled in any given election are divided into two groups, each elected by a different method. Voters are asked to cast two votes: one for an individual candidate in a constituency, one for a party list. Any national of Japan at least 18 years of age may vote in these elections.
The age of 18 replaced 20 in 2016. Japan's parallel voting system is not to be confused with the Additional Member System used in many other nations; the Constitution of Japan does not specify the number of members of each house of the Diet, the voting system, or the necessary qualifications of those who may vote or be returned in parliamentary elections, thus allowing all of these things to be determined by law. However it does guarantee universal adult suffrage and a secret ballot, it insists that the electoral law must not discriminate in terms of "race, sex, social status, family origin, property or income". The election of Diet members is controlled by statutes passed by the Diet; this is a source of contention concerning re-apportionment of prefectures' seats in response to changes of population distribution. For example, the Liberal Democratic Party had controlled Japan for most of its post-war history, it gained much of its support from rural areas. During the post-war era, large numbers of people were relocating to the urban centers in the seeking of wealth.
The Supreme Court of Japan began exercising judicial review of apportionment laws following the Kurokawa decision of 1976, invalidating an election in which one district in Hyōgo Prefecture received five times the representation of another district in Osaka Prefecture. The Supreme Court has since indicated that the highest electoral imbalance permissible under Japanese law is 3:1, that any greater imbalance between any two districts is a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. In recent elections the malapportionment ratio amounted to 4.8 in the House of Councillors and 2.3 in the House of Representatives. Candidates for the lower house must be 25 years old or older and 30 years or older for the upper house. All candidates must be Japanese nationals. Under Article 49 of Japan's Constitution, Diet members are paid about ¥1.3 million a month in salary. Each lawmaker is entitled to employ three secretaries with taxpayer funds, free Shinkansen tickets, four round-trip airplane tickets a month to enable them to travel back and forth to their home districts.
Article 41 of the Constitution describes the National Diet as "the highest organ of State power" and "the sole law-making organ of the State". This statement is in forceful contrast to the Meiji Constitution, which described the Emperor as the one who exercised legislative power with the consent of the Diet; the Diet's responsibilities include not only the making of laws but the approval of the annual national budget that the government submits and the ratification of treaties. It can initiate draft constitutional amendments, which, if approved, must be presented to the people in a referendum; the Diet may conduct "investigations in relation to government". The Prime Minister must be designated by Diet resolution, establishing the principle of legislative supremacy over executive government agencies; the government can be dissolved by the Diet if it passes a motion of no confidence introduced by fifty members of the House of Representatives. Government officials, including the Prime Minister and Cabinet members, are required to appear before Diet investigative committees and answer inquiries.
The Diet has the power to impeach judges convicted of criminal or irregular conduct. In most circumstances, in order to become law a bill must be first passed by both houses of the Diet and promulgated by the Emperor; this role of the Emperor is similar to the Royal Assent in some other nations. The House of Representatives is the more powerful chamber of the Diet. While the House of Representatives cannot overrule the House of Councillors on a bill, the House of Councillors can only delay the adoption of a budget or a treaty, approved by the House of Representatives, the House of Councillors has no power at all to prevent the lower house from selecting any Prime Minister it wishes. Furthermore, once appointed it is the confidence of the House of Representatives alone that the Prime Minister must enjoy in order to continue in office; the House of Representatives can overrule the upper house in the following circumstances: If a bill is adopted by the House of Representatives and either rejected, amended or not approved within 60 days by th
The Rikken Kokumintō was a minor political party in the Empire of Japan. It was known as the Kokumintō; the 国民党Kokumintō was founded in March 1910, by a merger of the Kensei Hontō with a number of minor political parties and groups within the Lower House of the Japanese Diet, was dominated by Inukai Tsuyoshi. It advocated a constitution, an electoral franchise based on universal adult male suffrage and increased spending for the Imperial Japanese Navy, it took a strong stand against the influence of the genrō and Meiji oligarchy. In the 1912 General Election, the new party secured 95 seats, making it the single largest opposition party in the Lower House. In January 1913, about half of the party defected to join the Rikken Dōshikai founded by Katsura Tarō. In the 1915 General Election, the 国民党Kokumintō managed to retain only 27 seats, it was able to recover to 35 seats in the 1917 General Election, but in the 1920 General Election, dropped back to only 29 seats. In September 1922, the 国民党Kokumintō disbanded, many of its former members formed the core of the new Kakushin Club led by Inukai Tsuyoshi.
Tsuzuki, Chushichi. The Pursuit of Power in Modern Japan, 1825–1995. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-820589-9. Sims, Richard. Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868–2000. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23915-7
House of Representatives (Japan)
The House of Representatives is the lower house of the National Diet of Japan. The House of Councillors is the upper house; 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, 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 the election of single-seat members and party list members is linked, so that the overall result respects proportional representation; 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, the most recent was by Shinzō Abe as on September 28, 2017. Japanese nationals aged 18 years and older may vote. Japanese nationals aged 25 years and older may run for office in the lower house; the House of Representatives has several powers not given to the House of Councillors. If a bill is passed by the lower house but is voted down by the upper house 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, 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 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, is termed the "lower house". While the legislative term is nominally 4 years, early elections for the lower house are common, the median lifespan of postwar legislatures has in practice been around 3 years. For a list of individual members, see the List of members of the Diet of Japan. Shaded green: Ruling party/coalition before and after the lower house election red: Ruling party/coalition after the election = Change of government as a result of the lower house election blue: Ruling party/coalition until the election = Change of government as a result of the lower house election none: Opposition before and after the electionNote 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 are not shaded. Under the 1889 Meiji Constitution which took effect in 1890 and established the Imperial Diet, 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 Herrenhaus in the Prussian government of the time.
The elected House of Representatives served as the lower house of the Imperial Diet. In the Imperial Diet, both houses had to agree to legislation; the government and the prime minister leading it were neither responsible to nor elected by the Imperial Diet. But the right to vote on legislation and more 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 formed a more permanent alliance in form of the Rikken Seiyūkai in 1900; the confidence of the House of Representatives was never a formal requirement to govern. During the Taisho Political Crisis in 1913, a "no-confidence vote" against the 3rd Katsura Cabinet, accompanied by major demonstrations outside the Diet, was followed shortly by resignation.
Subsequently, in the period referred to as Taishō democracy, it became customary to appoint many ministers including several prime ministers from the House of Representatives – Hara Takashi became the first commoner as prime minister in 1918. In the same year, the Rice Riots had confronted the government with an unprecedented scale of domestic unrest, a socialist revolution brought the Prusso-German monarchy to its end, the system Meiji oligarchs had used as the main model for the Meiji constitution to consolidate and preserve Imperial power. Oligarchs fundamentally opposed to political parties such as Yamagata Aritomo became more inclined to cooperate with the parties to prevent a rise of socialism or other movements that might threaten Imperial rul