Costs of upper house election

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A worker prepares a campaign car in Daito, Osaka Prefecture, in October 2021.

The House of Councillors election will be held Sunday. The following are questions and answers about the cost of the election.

Q: How much will it cost to hold the Upper House election?

A: The initial budget for fiscal 2022 includes ¥60.4 billion for the Upper House election. The funds come from taxes. There are about 105.44 million voters, including overseas voters, meaning it will cost about ¥570 per voter.

Upper House elections have been generally in the ¥50 billion range, with the previous election in 2019 costing ¥57 billion. According to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the reason for the increase this time around is due to the cost of placing disinfectant at the entrances and exits of polling places as measures against the coronavirus.

Q: What is the breakdown of expenses?

A: In the fiscal 2022 budget, about 90%, or ¥55.5 billion will be allocated for outsourcing to local governments that will be responsible for election administration. Each municipality will use the money to pay for polling station venues, ballot-counting stations and staff to help with vote-casting and counting, among other expenses.

The budget also includes ¥237 million for candidate posters and ¥119 million to hire campaign vehicles. In order to ensure equal opportunities for all candidates, these expenses are covered by public funds.

Q: Does it cost the same for the lower house election?

A: The cost of the lower house election is estimated at between ¥60 billion and ¥70 billion. The reason why the lower house election costs more is that there are more candidates.