Japan

Openness and transparency

Information about access to parliamentary documents, parliament’s reporting to the public, parliament’s relation to Freedom of Information laws, and lobbying.

Parliamentary documents

The agendas of plenary meetings are published online in advance The agendas of plenary meetings are published online in advance.
The agendas of committee meetings are published online in advance The agendas of committee meetings are published online in advance.
Results of votes on draft legislation are published on the parliamentary web site Results of votes on draft legislation are published on the parliamentary web site.
Draft legislation is published on the parliamentary website Draft legislation is published on the parliamentary website.
Citizens can submit comments on draft legislation on the parliamentary web site

Annual reporting by parliament

Parliament publishes an annual report on its activities
The annual report is available on the parliamentary web site
Yes
Parliament publishes the parliamentary budget
Level of detail of the parliamentary budget made available to the public Level of detail of the parliamentary budget made available to the public: Only the total amount; A summary of the main elements; The complete budget
The complete budget
The parliamentary budget is available on the parliamentary web site
Yes

Access to parliament

Plenary meetings are open to the public
Notes
Admission may be denied to visitors if armed or inebriated, as well as for other reasons. Special permission is required for visitors under 10 years of age.
Notes
Only members are admitted to committee meetings as visitors. This provision does not apply, however, to members of the news media or others granted permission by the chairperson. In practice, the admission of visitors is permitted as long as there is sufficient space in the committee room.
There is a dedicated channel for broadcasting parliamentary meetings A dedicated channel is one that is mainly about parliament, and is accessible free of charge to the general public. The channel might be owned by Parliament or a public or private company. Dedicated channels may be broadcast by parliament, government, or another broadcaster. They may be carried on television, radio or the Internet (webcasting).
Media used for the dedicated channel
Webcast
Meetings broadcast on the dedicated channel
Plenary sittings
Committee meetings

Freedom of information

There is a freedom of information law in the country
Yes
Parliament is subject to the freedom of information law
Parliament has an office/division dedicated to FOI requests
Yes
Categories of Information that are exempt from disclosure Certain categories of information may be exempt from disclosure
House of Representatives (HR):
- Among the documents, pictures, and electromagnetic records prepared or obtained by House staff members in the course of their duties and held by the Secretariat for organizational use by House staff, the following are excluded from disclosure requirements: (1) items published for the purpose of sale (to large numbers of unspecified persons); (2) items managed according to the standards for handling materials of the Parliamentary Museum, HR; and (3) items related to legislation and research.
Items may also be excluded from disclosure requirements when: (1) specifically provided for by law; (2) the information is related to activities of in-house groups or House Members and its disclosure could hinder their activities; and (3) the information corresponds to “Non-Disclosure Information” as per the Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs, article 5, including information that, if disclosed, could hinder the proper execution of duties associated with House legislation and research.

House of Councillors:
- Among the documents, pictures, and electromagnetic records prepared or obtained by House staff members in the course of their duties and held by the Secretariat for organizational use by House staff, the following are excluded from disclosure requirements: (1) items published for the purpose of sale (to large numbers of unspecified persons); (2) items predating the enforcement of the Constitution of Japan of 1947, which are specially preserved; and (3) items related to legislation and research that are designated by the Secretary General of the House of Councillors.
- Items are also exempted from disclosure when they include: (1) information related to activities of in-house groups or House Members that if disclosed could hinder their activities; (2) information that if disclosed could hinder the proper execution of duties associated with House legislation or research; or (3) information falling under the Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs, article 5, on “Non-Disclosure Information”.

Lobbying

There are rules about the activities of lobbyists in parliament
There is a register of accredited lobbyists