Each house has its own secretariat whose head is the secretary general. He or she is elected in each house from among those who are not Diet members.
Under the supervision of the speaker, the secretary general signs official documents, keeps the minutes of committee meetings and plenary sittings, directs the house guards, and administers the affairs of the house. He or she is an expert in parliamentary procedure and acts as adviser, assisting the speaker in the field of house management. Until the speaker and the vice-speaker of the House of Representatives are elected, the secretary general acts as the speaker.
The secretariat of the House of Representatives has a staff of approximately 1,650, including guards and stenographers, and that of the House of Councillors has one of about 1,240.
A Legislative Bureau is established in each house for the purpose of facilitating the work of Diet members in drafting legislative bills. Each Legislative Bureau has a staff of about 80 under the commissioner general.
The National Diet Library, with a staff of about 900 currently, was established in 1948 for the purpose of assisting Diet members in the performance of their duties and also for providing library services to the executive and judicial branches of the national government and the general public. The Research and Legislative Reference Bureau of this library, with a staff of nearly 190, is the research organ of the Diet.
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