The National Congress sessions held at the Main Auditorium of National Congress Building, Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, the national capital of Japan.
According to the 1946 Election Law, all Japanese nationals above 25 are eligible to be elected to the Congress and to vote in the national and local elections. The members of National Congress are elected by the prefectural congresses which in turn are elected by the directly-elected municipal-level congresses.
Prior of World War II, the National Front selects all Congress member candidates and their names can only go on the ballot paper with the approval of the National Front. Every candidate will participates in election under single candidates list issued by the Front. The 1946 Law then permit the Front parties and the independents to run their own lists of candidates in the election. Even the ruling party, Nationalist Party, can has two or three candidate lists: one list runs officially by the Party from the decision of Party Congress and another list(s) run by the Party inner opposition to the ruling majority in the Party Congress.
Functions and powers
The Japanese Constitution describes the National Congress as the Japan’s highest state body. The Congress performs several important functions, such as to elect the President of the Republic, to amend or to adopt the Constitution, to adopt the general state policies of Japan, to adopt the national budget, and to hear the President’s New Year Speech
The Congress also serves as constitutional counterbalance for President’s executive powers. President must have the Congress permission to execute his/her power, such as to appoint the members of the Council of the Ministers, to declare a war or to make a peace, to grant an amnesty, pardon and clemency, to ratify the treaties with other country, to declare a martial law and to confer a honors and decorations. The Congress can veto every President decisions, but the President cannot do the opposite.
Before 1946 amendment, Congress only had a function to approve the Council of Ministers formation which already appointed by the President. However, the 1946 amendment gave Congress (through the Legislative Council), the right to veto for those appointments and even the right to issue a vote of no confidence. The vote of no confidence can effective when approved by more than two thirds of the number of representatives.
The Congress assembles the convocation once or twice a year in regular sessions of several days each. The Congress electing the Legislative Council to provide day-to-day legislative functions. Extraordinary sessions of the Congress can also meet when called by the Legislative Council, by the President or by Kyogi Sokwai.