International comparison of the Japanese Diet members

Although for me politics is not a common topic in discussions with local friends – furthermore I even recommend to stay away from politics as a topic in a business setting – I believe it is still helpful to know some basic facts about Japan. Recently R25 magazine (free paper published by Recruit for male readers) showed a comparison of the number of the National Parliaments members compared to the responding population figure. Japan comes out as rather efficient with 5.7 members per 1,000,000 local habitants. In comparison (member of national diet per 1 Mio local population):

Sweden: 38.3 members
Great Britain: 22.8 members
France: 14.9 members
Korea: 6.2 members
Japan: 5.7 members
USA: 1.7 members

Be careful now not to make a too quick conclusion of an efficient and cost efficient Japanese government. While the number might seem low, R25 showed the yearly compensation of the Japanese Diet members as JPY 24,000,000, which even beats the US figure of JPY 15 Mio. If you are now shocked, I found another interesting comparison. The Swiss Parliament consists of 246 total members representing a total population of 7.7 Mio, which means there are 31.6 members available with a yearly compensation of JPY Mio 8.5 (not full-time focus on political activities).

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)

3 thoughts on “International comparison of the Japanese Diet members

  1. “Efficient” is one word. I would prefer to use the word “under-represented”. There is little that corresponds to the UK “MP’s surgery” (regular drop-in consultation for everyday constituents). If Japanese parliamentary representatives represent anything in their constituencies, it is business (typically construction).

    The figures for the USA are misleading, as so much is decided locally at state or below level. Japan’s prefectural assemblies have virtually no legislative or fiscal power compared to the USA, and so there cannot be said to be any representation that looks after local individual interests. In other words, Japan is governed by the same old non-titled aristocratic oligarchy as it has been for several hundred years, with little reference to the people.

    • Dear Hugh,

      thank you very much for your comment.
      Japanese politics and construction works is definitely a hot topic, which I prefer not to get into, as many good writers have already pointed out the connection.
      Always appreciate your honest and direct voice,

      Sibylle Ito

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