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  1. Women’s Suffrage
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Women’s Suffrage
Suffrage is the right to vote, especially in political elections. The Meiji Constitution, which was promulgated in 1889, established the legislative branch of Japan’s government, the Imperial Diet. It had two houses, a House of Peers and a House of Representatives. The constitution allowed male property owners who paid a land tax of about 15 yen or more to vote for members of the House of Representatives. In 1925 the right to vote was extended to all Japanese males over the age of 25. In the United States, after many years of campaigning, women gained the right to vote in 1920. In Japan, the right to vote was extended by the American Occupation authorities in 1946 to all Japanese men and women age twenty and older. The first election in which Japanese women could vote and run for office was held in 1946. In that election, 67% of eligible women turned out to vote and 39 won seats in the House of Representatives. The right to vote is guaranteed in Article 15 of the Japanese constitution, which was promulgated in 1947 and is still in effect today. It says, "Universal adult suffrage is guaranteed with regard to the election of public officials."
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