708 Individuals Ready to Run in Next Lower House Election
13:43 JST, June 25, 2023
TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A total of 708 people were preparing to run in the next election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japan’s parliament, as of Saturday, a Jiji Press survey shows.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida decided not to dissolve the Lower House during the ordinary Diet session that ended on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the current Lower House lawmakers are set to reach the halfway point in their four-year term in October this year.
Many people speculate that Kishida may dissolve of the all-important chamber for a snap election in autumn. Political parties are hastily working to decide candidates in preparation for such an election.
The total number of Lower House seats is 465, of which 289 are allocated to single-seat constituencies and 176 are proportional representation seats. At least 233 seats must be won in order to reach a majority.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has all but decided who it will field in 264 single-seat districts.
Excluding the 11 constituencies where the LDP’s junior coalition partner, Komeito, will field its own candidates, the LDP still has to secure candidates in 14 more districts.
The LDP has already completed candidate arrangements for all 10 prefectures subject to a reduction in Lower House seats under an electoral map revamp to narrow vote-value disparities.
On the other hand, the party has yet to decide its candidates in four districts in Tokyo and one in Kanagawa Prefecture. Under the redrawn Lower House map, five prefectures, including Tokyo and Kanagawa, will be allocated more seats.
The LDP has also yet to find candidates for a total of nine districts in Hokkaido, Osaka, Tokushima and Fukuoka prefectures.
Meanwhile, 25 individuals are set to run solely as proportional representation candidates of the party.
Komeito, which put up candidates in nine constituencies in the previous Lower House election in 2021, has decided to newly field candidates in Saitama and Aichi prefectures.
The party tried to put up a second candidate in Tokyo but abandoned the idea after failing to reach an agreement with the LDP.
The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan has secured 150 candidates. Of them, 149 will fight in single-seat constituencies, and one will vie for a proportional representation seat.
The CDP will increase its candidates further because its president, Kenta Izumi, declared that he will resign if his party fails to win 150 seats in the next general election.
In the previous election, the CDP unified candidates with opposition parties including the Japanese Communist Party in 213 constituencies.
Izumi, however, has voiced reluctance to repeat such a tie-up for the next election.
Single-seat constituencies with more than one opposition candidate are therefore expected to increase.
The JCP has already decided to field candidates in 75 constituencies, including Izumi’s own district in Kyoto Prefecture.
Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), which enjoyed remarkable results in unified local elections in April this year, aims to become the country’s largest opposition party.
While the party has picked 85 candidates for the envisaged election, it is hoping to field candidates in all 289 single-seat constituencies.
The party also hopes to earn more proportional representation votes than in the previous poll by focusing on swing votes in urban areas.
The Democratic Party for the People plans to field candidates in 20 constituencies. Sanseito, which won its first Diet seat in last year’s election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, has chosen 21 individuals as its candidates.
The Social Democratic Party and Reiwa Shinsengumi are also working to secure candidates.
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