House of Representatives of Japan


House of Representatives of Japan

Infobox Legislature
name = Japanese House of Representatives
衆議院
"Shūgiin"
coa_pic =
coa-pic =
session_room = The Diet.jpg
house_type = Lower house
leader1_type = Speaker of the House
leader1 = Yohei Kono
party1 = LDP
election1 =
election2 = 11 September 2005
members = 480
p_groups = LDP
DPJ
NKP
JCP
SDP
PNP
NPN
NPD
meeting_place = National Diet Building, Tokyo
website = [http://www.shugiin.go.jp/index.nsf/html/index_e.htm www.shugiin.go.jp/index.nsf/html/index_e.htm]
The nihongo|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.

Right to vote and candidature

* Japanese nationals aged 20 years and older may vote.
* Japanese nationals aged 25 years and older may run for office in the lower house.

Differences between the Upper and Lower Houses

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.

Latest election result

See also

* List of Districts of the House of Representatives of Japan

External links

* [http://www.shugiin.go.jp/index.nsf/html/index_e.htm House of Representatives Website (in English)] - Official site of the House of Representatives


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