”Perennial Opposition”(万年野党, Mannen-Yato) is a is a non-profit, politically neutral organization founded in 2013 (certified in 2014) in Japan to monitor the Government and the Diet. While the phrase "perennial opposition" is typically considered a derogatory term that refers to a weak political party that will never gain power, we have intentionally chosen it as the name of our organization to express our intent always to play the role of a watchdog from outside the sphere of political power.
Among our primary activities is the presentation of the "Three-Star Legislator Award" to selected Diet members in recognition of their parliamentary record, including activities such as asking questions and submitting legislative proposals in the Diet. Many voters are aware of the activities of Diet members within their constituencies, such as attendance at community events and speeches at election rallies, but have little opportunity to learn about their activities in the Diet. By giving greater visibility to these activities, our award program has encouraged Diet members to focus more on their activities in the Diet, which we believe has contributed to more robust parliamentary debates, more effective oversight of the Government, and ultimately, policy-making of a higher caliber.
The "Three-Star Legislator Award" consists of two separate evaluation frameworks. One framework involves quantitative evaluation, where the (i) number of oral questions and their duration, (ii) number of legislative submissions, and (iii) number of written questions are tallied for each member of the Diet over the course of each session, and the top 5% to 10% of Diet members in each category are given one star as part of the selection process for Three-Star Legislators. The other framework involves qualitative evaluation, where questionnaires are sent to all Diet members to request their nomination of fellow Diet members engaged in exemplary parliamentary activities during the session, such as asking excellent parliamentary questions, and Three-Star Legislators are selected on the basis of this peer evaluation. Since 2013, a total of 280 Diet members have been selected and presented with the award.