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House of Councillors
参議院
Sangiin
Type
Type Upper house
Leadership
President Satsuki Eda, DPJ
since 2007
Structure
Members 242
2007-2010 House of Councillors of Japan Seat Composition.png
Political groups      Democratic Party (109)
     Liberal Democratic Party (82)
     Komeito Party (21)
     Communist Party (7)
     Social Democratic Party (5)
     Japan Renaissance Party (4)
     People's New Party (4)
     New Party Nippon (1)
     New Party Daichi (1)
     Okinawa Social Mass Party (1)
     Independents / Others (7)
Election
Last election 29 July 2007
25 October 2009 (by-elections)
Meeting place
Japanese diet inside.jpg
National Diet Building, Tokyo
Website
www.sangiin.go.jp
Japan

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Japan



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The House of Councillors (参議院 Sangiin ?) is the upper house of the 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, the Japanese equivalent of the British House of Lords. 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. However with the introduction of proportional representation in the House of Representatives, the upper house has significantly enhanced its power to block legislation with final effect at the expense of the former where the government fails to attain the two-thirds mark in almost every general election, such as in the recent case of the Postal Privatisation Bill block; this development has made the House of Councillors quite powerful, perhaps approaching the Australian Senate or the United States Senate in its ability to influence public policy.

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 re-elected at each election, using a parallel voting system. 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. 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.

Contents

Latest election

e • d  Summary of the 29 July 2007 Japanese House of Councillors election results[1]
Parties Prefectural votes[2]  % Proportional votes  % Prefectural seats 2007 Proportional seats 2007 +/–[3] Elected in 2007 Not up Total seats
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Minshutō 24,006,817.693 40.45 23,256,242 39.5 40 20 +28 60 49 109
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Jiyū Minshutō 18,606,193.000 31.35 16,544,696 28.1 23 14 –27 37 46 83
New Komeito Party (NKP) Shin Kōmeitō 3,534,672.000 5.96 7,762,324 13.2 2 7 –3 9 11 20
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Nihon Kyōsantō 5,164,572.184 8.70 4,407,937 7.5 0 3 –2 3 4 7
Social Democratic Party (SDP) Shakai Minshutō 1,352,018.000 2.28 2,637,716 4.5 0 2 –1 2 3 5
People's New Party (PNP) Kokumin Shintō 1,111,005.000 1.87 1,269,220 2.2 1 1 0 2 2 4
New Party Nippon (NPN) Shintō Nippon - - 1,770,697 3.0 0 1 +1 1 0 1
Others 477,182.472 0.80 1,264,841 2.1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Independents 5,095,168.460 8.59 - - 7 0 +6 7 6 13
Total 59,347,628.809 100.00 58,913,700.007 100.00 73 48 +2
(vacancies)
121 121 242

See also

References

External links

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