- 東洋文化研究 (ISSN:13449850)
- no.17, pp.427-466, 2015-03-01
With more than 120 years of history and well consolidated status and power especially after the World War II, Japan’s national Diet may still be regarded as rather poor ‘supreme’ organ. This paper aims to clarify the characteristics of actual mechanism of Japan’s Diet in terms of both institutional settings and facts about legislative activities by making comparison both with French national parliament and Kochi prefectural parliament. The arguments of this paper can be summarized in three points. Firstly, in both national Diet and Kochi parliament, the activities and functions of plenary sessions have become extremely weak. One especially salient fact is the total lack of clause by clause type of legislative deliberations, which are the universal norm of western democracies including France. Second argument is that in Japan’s two cases question-and-answer style is almost the only pattern within the legislative procedures, and discussions between parliamentarians are lacking, which in French case are normally carried out through amendment activities. Finally, despite the similarities, Japan’s national Diet has one very significant characteristics unseen in local parliament. The Diet is a sort of ‘negotiating system’, which needs almost perpetual negotiations in order to manage itself including legislative procedures. This is impressively different from a sort of ‘prefixed system’ of local parliament.