Over 900 candidates likely to run in Japan’s lower house election

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Japan’s National Diet Building is pictured in Tokyo, Japan, May 31, 2021.

The upcoming House of Representatives election will likely have at least 925 candidates running, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey as of Monday.

With only a month to go before the expiration of lower house members’ terms on Oct. 21, each party is in the final stages of arranging their candidates.

The government and the ruling coalition are working to set the election date for Nov. 7.

This will be the first time under the current Constitution that a House of Representatives election will be held after the expiration of lawmakers’ terms of office.

Of the 465 seats in the lower house, 289 are allocated to single-seat constituencies. So far, 835 people are preparing to run in this portion of the election.

The remaining 176 seats in the lower house will be contested under the proportional representation system. Excluding candidates also planning to run in single-seat constituencies, 90 people are scheduled to run in the proportional section only.

The Liberal Democratic Party is aiming to field 279 single-seat candidates, including people currently in the process of being approved, while junior coalition partner Komeito so far plans to field nine such candidates. For the proportional section only, the LDP so far intends to field 21 candidates while Komeito aims to have 26 people run.

The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan is fielding 215 single-seat candidates, with none yet selected for the proportional section. The CDPJ hopes to field more than the 233 candidates needed to seize the majority in the lower house.

The Japanese Communist Party is aiming for 126 candidates in single-seat constituencies and 20 in the proportional section.

As for other notable parties, in the single-seat constituencies Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) is aiming to field 77 people and the Democratic Party for the People is looking to have 20 candidates run.

Coordination among the opposition parties to jointly back a single candidate in the single-seat portion has stalled, with the CDPJ and Japanese Communist Party intending to field their own candidates in 70 constituencies.

Outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will be replaced during an extraordinary Diet session scheduled to be convened on Oct. 4, when one of the four candidates vying to lead the LDP is approved for the post.

The lower house election date will be finalized under the new prime minister.