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Executive, Role of Ministries and Agencies in the Legislative Process
majority party, administrative agencies, bureaucrats, ministries, proposed legislation
As is the case in other parliamentary democracies, Japanís ministries and administrative agencies play a relatively active role in creating legislation. A law is often drafted initially by bureaucrats in the ministry or agency with jurisdiction and technical expertise over its subject matter. Nevertheless, the majority party in the Diet ultimately controls all legislative enactments, primarily through cabinet oversight. Before the law is sent to the Diet for a vote, the cabinetís Legislation Bureau may review or revise it. Therefore, all legislation in Japan reflects policies that are either determined or approved by the cabinet.
In addition to cabinet oversight, the ministries are also constrained by the need for broad consensus among those affected by proposed legislation. Ministries incorporate the views of academic specialists and private interests through special advisory commissions. The drafting ministry also takes into account the views of career officials in other ministries or agencies affected by the legislation. The final product of Japanís legislative process generally reflects the views of the leaders of the majority party in the Diet, individual members of the Diet whose support is politically significant, and influential private interests.
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