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
Kazuyoshi Kaneko is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party and a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet. A native of Takayama and graduate of Keio University, his father is former minister of finance, Ippei Kaneko. Kaneko was elected to the Diet for the first time in 1986. In September 2008 he was appointed Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism and succeeded Nariaki Nakayama in the post. Official website in Japanese
Ryutaro Hashimoto was a Japanese politician who served as the 82nd and 83rd Prime Minister of Japan from 11 January 1996 to 30 July 1998. He was the leader of one of the largest factions within the ruling LDP through most of the 1990s and remained a powerful back-room player in Japanese politics until scandal forced him to resign his leadership position in 2004. Disgraced, he chose not to stand in the general election of 2005, retired from politics, he died on 1 July 2006 at a Tokyo hospital. Hashimoto was born on 29 July 1937, in Sōja in Okayama Prefecture, his father, Ryōgo Hashimoto, was a cabinet minister under Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi. Following his father's lead, Ryutaro received his degree in political science from Keio University in 1960, was elected to the House of Representatives of Japan in 1963, he moved through the ranks of the Liberal Democratic Party over the next twenty years, landing a spot as Minister of Health and Welfare under premier Masayoshi Ōhira in 1978, in 1980 became the LDP's director of finance and public administration.
He again became a cabinet minister in 1986 under Yasuhiro Nakasone, in 1989 became secretary general of the LDP, the highest rank short of party president Hashimoto became a key figure in the strong LDP faction founded by Kakuei Tanaka in the 1970s, which fell into the hands of Noboru Takeshita, tainted by the Recruit scandal of 1988. In 1991, the press had discovered that one of Hashimoto's secretaries had been involved in an illegal financial dealing. Hashimoto retired as Minister of Finance from the Second Kaifu Cabinet. Following the collapse of the bubble economy, the LDP momentarily lost power in 1993/94 during the Hosokawa and Hata anti-LDP coalition cabinets negotiated by LDP defector Ichirō Ozawa. Hashimoto was brought back to the cabinet when the LDP under Yōhei Kōno returned to power in 1994 by entering a ruling coalition with traditional archrival Japanese Socialist Party, giving the prime ministership to the junior partner, the minor New Party Harbinger. Hashimoto became Minister of International Trade and Industry in the Murayama Cabinet of Tomiichi Murayama.
As the chief of MITI, Hashimoto made himself known at summit conferences. In September 1995, Yōhei Kōno did not stand for another term. Hashimoto won the election to LDP president against Jun'ichirō Koizumi 304 votes to 87, succeeded Kōno as leader of the party and as deputy prime minister in the Murayama cabinet; when Murayama stepped down in 1996, the 135th National Diet elected Hashimoto to become Japan's 82nd prime minister – he was elected against NFP leader Ichirō Ozawa with 288 votes to 167 in the lower house and 158 to 69 in the upper house – and lead the continued LDP-JSP-NPH coalition government. Hashimoto reached an agreement with the United States for the repatriation of MCAS Futenma, a controversial U. S. military base in an urban area of Okinawa, in April 1996. The deal was opposed by Japan's foreign ministry and defense agency but was backed by Hashimoto's American counterpart, President Bill Clinton; the repatriation of the base has yet to be completed as of 2015, as Okinawans have opposed efforts to relocate the base to a new site.
Hashimoto's domestic popularity increased during the Japanese-US trade dispute when he publicly confronted Mickey Kantor, US Trade Representative for the Clinton administration. Hashimoto's popularity was based on his attitude; when asked about why Japanese car dealerships did not sell American cars, he answered, "Why doesn't IBM sell Fujitsu computers?" When Japan's economy did not seem to be recovering from its 1991 collapse, Hashimoto ordered a commission of experts from the private sector to look into improving the Japanese market for foreign competition, opening it completely. On September 27, 1996, the Hashimoto cabinet dissolved the lower house of the National Diet. In the ensuing general lower house election in October, the LDP made gains while its coalition partners SDP – the JSP had been renamed after the formation of the Hashimoto cabinet – and NPH lost seats. Both parties ended the coalition with the LDP, but they remained Diet allies in a cooperation outside the cabinet until 1998.
Thus, the LDP and the Second Hashimoto Cabinet safely controlled both houses of the Diet, although it was technically in the minority by a few seats in the lower house, well short of a majority in the upper house. It was the first single-party LDP government since 1993. Having achieved this, Hashimoto was confirmed without challenger as party president in September 1997. Hashimoto's government raised the Japanese consumption tax in 1997. Although the government implemented a reduction in the personal income tax prior to raising the consumption tax, the hike still had a negative effect on consumer demand in Japan. During the Upper House regular election 1998, the LDP failed to restore its majority and instead lost more seats. Hashimoto resigned to take responsibility for this failure, was succeeded as LDP president and Prime Minister by Foreign Minister Keizō Obuchi. Mr. Hashimoto stayed in a LDP adviser party, in the 2nd Mori Cabinet the Minister of Okinawa Development Agency and Minister in charge of administrative reform were appointed.
He led the faction for several years. In 2001 he was one of the leading candidates to take office as prime minister but lost in the election of the more popular Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Hashimoto's faction began to collapse late in 2003 while debating over. In 2004, Hashimoto stepped down as faction leader when he was
Shinzō Abe is a Japanese politician serving as Prime Minister of Japan and Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party since 2012. He served as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007 and Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2006. In 2019, Abe succeeded Shigeru Yoshida as the second-longest serving Prime Minister in post-war Japan and the fourth-longest serving PM in Japanese history. Abe comes from a politically prominent family and was first elected Prime Minister by a special session of the National Diet in September 2006. Aged 52, he became Japan's youngest post-war Prime Minister and the first to have been born after World War II. Abe resigned on 12 September 2007 for health reasons after his party lost the House of Councillors election that year, he was replaced by Yasuo Fukuda, the first in a series of five Prime Ministers who failed to retain office for more than sixteen months. Abe staged a political comeback, on 26 September 2012 he defeated former Minister of Defense Shigeru Ishiba for the LDP presidency.
Following the LDP's landslide victory in the 2012 general election, he became the first former Prime Minister to return to the office since Shigeru Yoshida in 1948. He was re-elected in the 2014 general election, retaining his two-thirds majority with coalition partner Komeito, again in the 2017 general election. Abe is a conservative whom political commentators have described as a right-wing nationalist, he is a member of the revisionist Nippon Kaigi and holds revisionist views on Japanese history, including denying the role of government coercion in the recruitment of comfort women during World War II, a position which has created tension with neighboring South Korea. He is considered a hard-liner with respect to North Korea, advocates revising Article 9 of the pacifist constitution to permit Japan to maintain military forces. Abe is known internationally for his government's economic policies, nicknamed Abenomics, which pursue monetary easing, fiscal stimulus, structural reforms. Shinzō Abe was born to a politically prominent family.
His family is from Yamaguchi Prefecture, Abe's registered residence is Nagato, where his grandfather was born. His grandfather, Kan Abe, father, Shintaro Abe, were both politicians, his great-great-grandfather, the Viscount Yoshimasa Ōshima served as General in the Imperial Japanese Army. Abe's mother, Yoko Kishi, is the daughter of Nobusuke Kishi, prime minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960. Kishi had been a member of the Tōjō Cabinet during the Second World War. Since GHQ's policy changed and became more anti-communist, Kishi was released from Sugamo Prison, established the Japan Democratic Party. In his book Utsukushii Kuni e, Abe wrote, "Some people used to point to my grandfather as a'Class-A war criminal suspect', I felt strong repulsion; because of that experience, I may have become attached to'conservatism', on the contrary."In 1955, Shigeru Yoshida's Liberal Party and Kishi's Democratic Party merged as an anti-leftist coalition and was reestablished as the LDP. Abe attended Seikei Junior High School and Seikei Senior High School.
He studied public administration and graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from Seikei University in 1977. He moved to the United States and studied public policy at the University of Southern California's School of Public Policy for three semesters. In April 1979, Abe began working for Kobe Steel, he left the company in 1982 and pursued a number of government positions including executive assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, private secretary to the chairperson of the LDP General Council, private secretary to the LDP secretary-general. Shinzō Abe was elected to the first district of Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1993 after his father's death in 1991, winning the most votes of the four Representatives elected in the SNTV multi-member district. In 1999, he became Director of the Social Affairs Division, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary in the Yoshirō Mori and Junichirō Koizumi Cabinets from 2000–2003, after which he was appointed Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party.
Abe is a member of the Mori Faction of the Liberal Democratic Party. This faction is headed by former prime minister Yoshirō Mori. Jun'ichirō Koizumi was a member of the Mori Faction prior to leaving it, as is the custom when accepting a high party post. From 1986 to 1991, Abe's father, headed the same faction; the Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyū-kai has 60 members in the House of Representatives and 26 in the House of Councillors. In 2000, Abe's home and the office of his supporters in Shimonoseki, in Yamaguchi Prefecture, were attacked with molotov cocktails on numerous occasions; the perpetrators were several yakuza members belonging to the Kudo-kai, a Kitakyushu-based designated boryokudan syndicate. The reason for the attacks was believed to be that Abe's local aide refused to give cash to a Shimonoseki real estate broker in return for supporting a Shimonoseki mayoral candidate in 1999. Abe was chief negotiator for the Japanese government on behalf of the families of Japanese abductees taken to North Korea.
As a part of the effort, he accompanied Koizumi to meet Kim Jong‑il in 2002. He gained national popularity when he demanded that Japanese abductees visiting Japan remain, in defiance of North Korea, he was the leader of a project team within the LDP that did a survey on "excessive sexual education and gender-free education". Among the items to which this team raised objections were anatomical dolls and other curricular materials "not taking into consideration the age of children", school policies banning traditional boys' and g
Yuriko Koike is a Japanese politician who serves as the governor of Tokyo. She was a member of the House of Representatives of Japan from 1993 to 2016, was the Minister of Defense in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, but resigned in August 2007 after only 54 days in office. On 31 July 2016, Koike was elected Governor of the city's first female governor. Born and raised in Ashiya, Hyōgo, a wealthy, city near Kobe, Koike went to Kōnan Girls' Junior and Senior High School for her secondary education, her father, Yūjirō Koike, was a foreign trade merchant. He was involved in politics, supporting Shintarō Ishihara and the Tatenokai in the 1960s, ran unsuccessfully for national election in 1969, he told Yuriko that it was essential for Japan to strengthen relations with Arab countries to ensure a stable petroleum supply lest the resource-poor Japan be thrust into war for oil again. His words convinced her to study in Egypt to master Arabic, she dropped out of Kwansei Gakuin University's School of Sociology in September 1971.
The next year, she studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo and received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Cairo University in October 1976. When she was 21, she divorced soon after, she began to work as an interpreter of Arabic and became a journalist, interviewing Muammar Gaddafi and Yasser Arafat in 1978, becoming a news anchor in 1979. She received the Female Broadcaster of Japan award in 1990. Koike was elected to the House of Councillors in 1992 as a member of the Japan New Party, she was elected to the House of Representatives in 1993, representing the Hyogo 2nd district. In 1996, she was re-elected to the House of Representatives, this time representing the Hyogo 6th district for the New Frontier Party, she held this seat in the 2000 election as a candidate of the New Conservative Party. She joined the Liberal Democratic Party in 2002, she has been a regular contributor to Project Syndicate since 2010. She served as the Minister of the Environment and Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Jun'ichirō Koizumi.
Along with Satsuki Katayama and Makiko Fujino, Koike became known as one of Koizumi's "assassins" in the 2005 Lower House election, running in Tokyo against an LDP hardliner candidate who opposed Koizumi's policies. She was appointed the first female Minister of Defense in June 2007 during the first term of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but announced in August 2007 that she intended to resign from the post, citing the Aegis classified information leak scandal as a reason. Koike hinted that the much-publicized fight she had had with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki over a vice-minister replacement was the real reason, as the opposition would use that to oppose a bill on Japan's terrorism laws. On 8 September 2008, she launched her bid to become president of the LDP and became the first woman to seek the premiership in Japan's history: "I have received the enthusiastic support of my colleagues. In order to break through the deadlock facing Japanese society, I believe the country might as well have a female candidate.
Hillary used the word'glass ceiling'... but in Japan, it isn't glass, it's an iron plate. I'm not Mrs. Thatcher, but what is needed is a strategy that advances a cause with conviction, clear policies and sympathy with the people." In the leadership election, held on 22 September, Tarō Asō won with 351 of the 527 votes. Following the resignation of Tokyo governor Naoki Inose in December 2013, Koike was rumored to be a potential candidate for the gubernatorial election expected to be held in February 2014, along with Hideo Higashikokubaru, Hakubun Shimomura, Seiko Hashimoto and Yōichi Masuzoe, she did not run, Masuzoe won. After Masuzoe announced his resignation in June 2016, Koike announced her intention to run in the election for his successor. Koike stated that she would run "as an LDP lawmaker" but did not obtain the approval of the Tokyo LDP chapter before announcing her candidacy; the LDP endorsed Hiroya Masuda, its Tokyo chapter issued a notice that any members supporting Koike would be punished.
Nonetheless, several prominent LDP politicians continued to back Koike, while senior leaders such as Shinzo Abe refrained from making speeches in support of either candidate. Koike was elected Governor of Tokyo on 31 July 2016. On August 21, 2016, at the 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, Koike received the Olympic Flag, via Thomas Bach, from the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes. On 31 May 2017, in advance of the upcoming local elections, Koike resigned from the Liberal Democratic Party and became the leader of Tomin First no Kai. Koike founded the group in 2016 in preparation for the elections and formed an alliance with Komeito in an effort to secure a governing majority in Tokyo's parliament. On July 3, 2017, the alliance took a majority in the prefectural election, pushing out the Liberal Democratic Party with a combined 79 seats of the 127-seat assembly. Koike supports economic liberalism, promotes administrative and budgetary reform, insists on further advancement of the status of women in the working world.
In promising the pursuit of women-friendly policies, she has stated, "I believe that pushing policies for women will be good for Tokyo and bring happiness to the capital." Her stated basic principles and stance regarding political reform are encompassed by "The 5 Cs: Check, Change and Communication". In terms of the economy, she has use