VoteWorld Comparative Parliamentary

Roll-Call Voting Reference File


Basic Information:
Parliament website:
      House of Representatives
      House of Counsilors
Size of parliament:
      480 (House of Representatives)
      242 (House of Councilors)
Form of government: Parliamentary
Electoral system:
      House of Representatives: mixed (300 plurality, 180 PR)
      House of Councilors: mixed (96 SNTV, 147 PR)
Continuous democracy since: 1946
Last parliamentary election: 11 September 2005
Freedom House political freedom score in 2006: 1
Population in 2006: 127.6 million


Cox, Gary W., Mikitaka Masuyama and Mathew D. McCubbins (2000) eAgenda Power in the Japanese House of Representativesf, Japanese Journal of Political Science 1(1): 1-22.
Kato, Junko (1998) eWhen the Party Breaks Up: Exist and Voice among Japanese Legislatorsf, American Political Science Review 92 (4): 857-870.
Reed, Steven R. and Ethan Scheiner (2003) eElectoral Incentives and Policy Preferences: Mixed Motives Behind Party Defections in Japanf, British Journal of Political Science 33: 469-490.

1947-2004 (House of Councilors)

The above zip file consists of the following Excel files


This file contains bill codes, bill names (in Japanese), short descriptions about each bill, voting dates, aggregate-level voting results.

1947_50.xls (covers 1947-50)
1950_53.xls (covers 1950-53)
1953_56.xls (covers 1953-56)
1956_59.xls (covers 1956-59)
1959_62.xls (covers 1959-62)
1962_65.xls (covers 1962-65)
1965_68.xls (covers 1965-68)
1971_74.xls (covers 1971-74)
1974_77.xls (covers 1974-77)
1977_80.xls (covers 1977-80)
1980_83.xls (covers 1980-83)
1983_86.xls (covers 1983-86)
1986_89.xls (covers 1986-89)
1989_92.xls (covers 1989-92)
1992_95.xls (covers 1992-95)
1995_98.xls (covers 1995-98)
1998_01.xls (covers 1998-2001)
2001_04.xls (covers 2001-04)

These files contain information about the voting behavior of each Diet member.  Each file covers three years since the House of Counsilors has an election every three years.  The data includes all bills that were voted by open ballot. (Until 1998, most bills were voted not by open ballot but by rising, in which cases it is impossible to identify how each legislator voted.)

The first column of each file represents legislator names.  The second column provides legislator IDs.  The third to seventh columns are for district, party affiliation at the beginning of each term, party affiliation at the end of each term, gender (1=male, 2=female), birth year, respectively. 

The eighth column shows the highest education of each legislator.  The codes for this variable are the following:
0=No formal education
1=Elementary school
2=Junior high school
3=High school
4=College (dropout)
5=College graduate
6=Graduate school
9=Other kinds of schools

The other columns show how each Diet member voted.
The codes for vote decisions are as follows
1=Voted Yes
2=Voted No
55=President (did not vote)
56=Vice-president (did not vote)
88=Did not vote
99=Not a Diet member.

Citation should be to the Ikuo Kabashima Seminar at University of Tokyo.  Shiro Sakaiya (University of California, Berkeley) translated the data into English.

Contact: Shiro Sakaiya (University of California, Berkeley)

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