Execs want more power for prime minister

The Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) called Feb. 28 for a revision in the Cabinet Law to give more power to the prime minister, in the hope that the prime minister will take a stronger initiative in conducting administrative reform.

Doyukai’s report on a desirable policymaking system says that Article 6 of the Cabinet Law — which states that the prime minister commands the government based on Cabinet-approved policies — could in fact restrict the prime minister’s authority. “We are calling for the revision of the article, bearing in mind that differences of opinion among Cabinet ministers would occur more often as coalition government becomes the norm,” said Seiji Tsutsumi, the Doyukai vice chairman in charge of compiling the report.

The report also says that in Lower House elections, the difference in weight between votes from different prefectures should never exceed 50 percent. This can be done, the report suggested, by allocating all 300 seats in proportion to the population of each prefecture, instead of first giving one seat to each prefecture and then allocating the rest by population.

Currently, the weight of a single vote in the prefecture with the smallest population is 2.31 times that of the prefecture with the largest population. Such gaps can result in a situation whereby the number of seats allocated to one prefecture exceeds that of another prefecture with a larger population, which could discourage people in metropolitan areas from voting.