National Diet (Japan)

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In the Japanese political system, the National Diet (国会 Kokkai) has been the bicameral parliament since the Meiji Restoration, although significantly modified by the 1947 Constitution. Its two chambers are the more powerful lower House of Representatives and the upper House of Councillors; the latter may veto most proposed legislation, unless supported by a two-thirds majority in the lower house. The House of Representatives is dissolved after up to four years for a general election, while Councillors serve six-year terms with half the upper house elected every three years.


The word Diet is of Latin derivation, but came to be used in relation to Japan because it was commonly used for a legislative body in mediaeval Germany. Imperial Germany was the most influential model for the process of modernization undertaken in Japan during the Meiji period. [1]

While it was formed to resemble the British Westminster system, with significant influences from the Prussian Parliament, the Diet, even today, has relatively less power than parliaments of other democracies, although has become more powerful in recent years.

The Diet had a limited role in decision-making during World War Two, especially as Japanese party government declined.

National Diet Library

The National Diet Library is Japan's national library, equivalent to the Library of Congress in the United States of America.