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List of top 20 opposition Lower House interpellators in past 5 years

  • January 23, 2018
  • , p. 43
  • JMH Translation

By freelance journalist Tomoyuki Isoyama, director of NPO Mannen Yato [Perennial Opposition]

 

As of late last year, the Shinzo Abe cabinet that started in late 2012 had been in existence for five years. During this period, 14 Diet sessions were convened, from the special session in 2012 (the 182nd Diet session) called to elect the prime minister to the special session in late 2017 (the 195th Diet session).

 

However, substantial interpellations were not held at the 182nd and 188th Diet, which were special sessions held after House of Representatives elections; the 184th and 191th Diet, which were extraordinary Diet sessions held after House of Councillors elections; and the 194th session in which the Lower House was dissolved at the start of the session. Substantial interpellations only took place at nine Diet sessions — five regular sessions convened at the beginning of each year, three extraordinary Diet sessions, and the special session in late 2017.

 

Over the last five years, Abe’s overwhelming political power has become more pronounced with each election, while the incompetence of the opposition parties has stood out. Even so, certain opposition Diet members asked numerous questions in the Diet to challenge the Abe cabinet.

 

According to data compiled by the “association for collecting data on Diet members’ activities,” among the Lower House members, Yasushi Adachi from Nippon Ishin [Japan Innovation Party] asked questions the most number of times at a total of 207. He interpellated four times at the 193rd session of 2017, which was a regular session, as well as at the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Commission on the Constitution.

 

The Japanese Communist Party’s (JCP) Tetsuya Shiokawa ranks second at 200 times over 5 years. He asked questions most often at the Committee on Environment at the 193rd session. Coming third is the JCP’s Chizuko Takahashi, who asked questions on 194 occasions.

 

Of the top 20 interpellators, only three lost their seats in the general election of October 2017, indicating that the success rate of frequent interpellators in elections is 85%. This shows that frequent interpellations in the Diet boost name recognition.

 

Top 20 interpellators

 

Ranking

Name

Party during 2017 general election

Constituency

No. of times

1

Yasushi Adachi

Nippon Ishin

(PR*) Kinki

207

2

Tetsuya Shiokawa

JCP

(PR) North Kanto

200

3

Chizuko Takahashi

JCP

(PR) Tohoku

194

4

Yosei Ide

Party of Hope

3rd district, Nagano

159

5

Denny Tamaki

Liberal Party

3rd district, Okinawa

158

6

Akira Kasai

JCP

(PR) Tokyo

151

7

Seiken Akamine

JCP

1st district, Okinawa

148

7

Masami Kawano**

Nippon Ishin

(PR) Kyushu

148

9

Hajime Yoshikawa

Social Democratic Party

(PR) Kyushu

143

9

Nobuhiko Isaka**

Party of Hope

1st district, Hyogo

143

11

Hodaka Maruyama

Nippon Ishin

19th district, Osaka

139

12

Katsuhito Nakajima

Independent

1st district, Yamanashi

130

13

Yuichiro Tamaki

Party of Hope

2nd district, Kagawa

128

13

Tomohiko Kinoshita**

Nippon Ishin

(PR) Kinki

128

15

Takeshi Miyamoto

JCP

(PR) Kinki

126

16

Kazuhiko Shigetoku

Independent

12th district, Aichi

118

17

Shinji Oguma

Party of Hope

(PR) Tohoku

116

18

Kensuke Onishi

Party of Hope

13th district, Aichi

115

19

Takeshi Shina

Party of Hope

1st district, Iwate

108

20

Yuichi Goto

Party of Hope

(PR) South Kanto

104

Note: Total number from the regular Diet session in 2013 to the special session in 2017.

*PR = proportional representation ticket

**Lost seat in 2017 election

(Source) Compiled by the author

 

(Abridged)

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