Tokyo court finds July poll in unconstitutional state

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Tokyo High Court

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Tokyo High Court on Tuesday ruled that the House of Councillors election in July was held in a state of unconstitutionality in terms of vote-value disparity.

Still, Presiding Judge Yuji Watanabe rejected the demand of plaintiffs that the election results be nullified.

It is the second court ruling over vote-value disparity in the July 10 election for the upper chamber of the Diet, after Osaka High Court also found last week that the poll was held in a state of unconstitutionality. A total of 16 lawsuits have been filed with high courts and high court branches across the country by two groups of lawyers, who claim that the election violated the country’s Constitution, which calls for the equality of votes.

The maximum vote-value gap in the election stood at 3.03 times, slightly higher than the 3.00 times in the previous upper house poll in 2019, which has been ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court.

The vote-value disparity between the prefectural constituencies with the highest and lowest number of eligible voters shrank from around five times to 3.08 times in the 2016 upper house election, following the 2015 revision to the public offices election law, which merged the two pairs of sparsely populated prefectural constituencies in Tottori and Shimane, and Tokushima and Kochi.