There are two types of committees: standing committees, which are permanent bodies, and special committees, which are established by House resolution when deemed necessary by that House for a given Diet session. Every Diet Member serves on at least one standing committee during his or her term of office.
The House of Representatives and the House of Councillors each have seventeen standing committees.
The jurisdiction and number of members of a special committee are decided by resolution of the House in question when the committee is established.
In August 2007 each Houses set up a Commission on the Constitution to conduct broad and comprehensive research on the Constitution of Japan and basic legislation closely related to it, and to consider constitutional amendment bills, procedure bills and related matters.
The commission of the House of Representatives has a menbership of 50 and the House of Councillors 45.
Each House set up a Board of Oversight and Review of Specially Designated Secrets to investigate and constantly oversee the system operation for protecting specially designated secrets in the defense and foreign affairs information, whose leakage has the potential to significantly harm the security of Japan and needs to be specially designated to be kept secret; as well as to review judgments including those by administrative organsf heads as to the propriety of their response to requests of each House committee or other organization for the submission of the specially designated secrets.
The boards of both Houses have the same membership of 8.
A Deliberative Council on Political Ethics has been set up in each House to establish political ethics. The council of the House of Representatives has a membership of 25 and the House of Councillors 15.
The Committee on Fundamental National Policies is responsible for deliberating basic government policy. It normally meets jointly with the House of Councillors committee of the same name, and functions as a venue for debate between the Prime Minister and opposition party leaders on fundamental national policies and other important topics.
This committee is mandated to examine the budget for national revenues and expenditures, but members ask questions about a wide range of issues related to government, including issues of concern to the people. Committee deliberations on the national budget commence with a briefing on the budget submitted and include basic questions, general questions, hearings, subcommittee meetings (in the case of the Committee on Budget of the House of Councillors: commissioned research), and closing questions. After the deliberations have been completed, the budget is voted on.
This committee decides the plenary sitting dates, order of business, speakers, and speaking time allocation, as well as other matters related to the administration of the House. The committee also discusses matters related to the Diet Law and various House rules and handles matters about which advice is sought by the House Speaker.