Generally, plenary sittings of the House of Councillors are held at 10 a.m. on Monday Wednesday, and Friday when the Diet is in session.
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There is a standing committee corresponding to each of the government ministries; the main purpose of the standing committees is to deliberate over legislative and other proposals. Each house member sits on at least one standing committee.
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Special committees are formed as needed to examine specific issues or proposed laws.
Research committees are a unique feature of the House of Councillors. They meet to carry out long-term, comprehensive studies of particular issues and to propose legislation.
The Commission on the Constitution is an organization for the following purposes: (1) to conduct broad and comprehensive research on the Constitution of Japan and fundamental legislation closely related to the Constitution of Japan, and (2) to consider Preliminary Draft Amendments to the Constitution, bills on the initiation of Amendments to the Constitution and/or a National Referendum thereon, and other matters.
The Board of Oversight and Review of Specially Designated Secrets is an organization for the following purposes: to investigate the conditions under which information is designated as specially designated secrets, or such designations are terminated, or security clearance processes are performed. It also reviews the appropriateness of decisions made at the discretion of heads of administrative organs regarding requests for disclosure of specially designated secrets from the House of Councillors itself, its committees, or its advisory boards, for the purpose of continuously monitoring government operation of the system for the protection of specially designated secrets.
The Deliberative Council on Political Ethics was formed to establish ethical standards for house members and to decide in specific cases whether a member has violated the rules of conduct that house members are expected to follow.
The Secretariat and Legislative Bureau assist in the duties of the House of Councillors. Support staff who aid the house committee members in their research belong to the Secretariat.