Japan

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Question Value
Legal provisions for mandatory referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for optional referendums at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for citizens' initiatives at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for agenda initiatives at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for recall at national level
  • No
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the regional level
  • Mandatory referendum
  • Agenda initiative
  • Recall
Legal provisions for direct democracy at the local level
  • Mandatory referendum
  • Agenda initiative
  • Recall
Legal basis for direct democracy at the national level
  • Constitutional
  • Specific laws/legislation
Legal basis for administrative requirements at the national level
  • Specific laws/legislation
Who administers direct democracy mechanisms at the national level?
  • Independent electoral commission
First referendum/initiative held
    Has there been a national referendum since 1980?
    • No

    Question Value
    Issues in relation to which referendums are mandatory at the national level
    • Constitutional amendments
    • Civil service
    Issues in relation to which referendums are optional at the national level
    • None
    Issues excluded from being the subject of referendums at the national level
    • None
    Issues of sub-national referendums regulated at the national level
    • Any law applicable to only one sub-national administrative unit
    Who can initiate an optional referendum at the national level?
    • Not applicable
    Who drafts the referendum question?
    • Mandatory referendum - Independent electoral commission
    • Mandatory referendum - Legislature
    Who decides on the final form of the ballot text?
    • Mandatory referendum - Independent electoral commission
    • See comments
    Quorum requirements for a referendum to be valid
    • No quorum requirements
    Requirements for a referendum to pass
    • Mandatory referendum - simple majority
    Are referendum results binding?
    • Mandatory referendum - always

    Question Value
    Issues that can be proposed by citizens using the initiative process at the national level
      Issues excluded from being the subject of an initiative at the national level
        Who may propose the registration of an initiative?
          Materials to accompany an application for registration
            Who determines the title of an initiative?
              What disqualifies a proposed title of an initiative?
                Who is responsible for checking the legality of initiatives?
                  At which stage legality check is conducted?
                    Who decides the final ballot text when the initiative is put to a vote?
                      When does voting take place once an initiative is qualified for ballot?

                        Question Value
                        Which individuals/positions may be subject to the recall?
                        • Members of provincial/local legislature bodies
                        • Governors, Mayors or equivalent
                        What are the grounds for recall?
                        • Not specified by legislation
                        What restrictions are there in relation to the time period in which an individual or position can be recalled?
                          When is the recall put to the vote?
                          • Not specified by legislation
                          When does the election to replace an individual who has been recalled take place?
                          • Separately and subsequently
                          Can an individual who is the subject of a recall stand on the ballot for his/her own replacement?
                          • Not specified by legislation

                          Question Value
                          How many signatures are required to start the formal decision making stage of a direct democracy mechanism?
                            What is the deadline for collecting required number of signatures?
                              Restrictions in relation to the individuals who can sign the proposal
                                Where can proposals be signed?
                                  What information must signatories provide when signing the proposal?
                                    Restrictions in relation to signature collection
                                      What forms of checks are undertaken to verify signatures?
                                        Who checks the signatures?