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LDP, Komeito split over reform of Upper House electoral system

  • 2015-07-23 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
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(Asahi: July 23, 2015 – p. 3)


 The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito are divided on a plan to rectify vote-value disparities in the House of Councillors by reforming the Upper House electoral system. The ruling coalition has not yet been able to agree on the plan with the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan. This is because the LDP, which is reluctant to merge electoral districts, gave priority to party interests rather than a broad agreement among political parties. However, since the vote-value disparity remains at about 3 times even in the LDP’s plan, there is a possibility that the number of electoral districts to be merged will increase.


 In a meeting on July 22, LDP Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki gained the consent of the party on a “10-plus, 10-minus” formula [add two seats each to five prefectures and cut a total of 10 seats in seven prefectures].


 After the meeting, the LDP explained a bill on the 10-plus, 10-minus formula to Upper House members representing various political parties. Makoto Nishida, secretary general of the Komeito caucus in the Upper House, said: “Unless both sides make concessions, it will be difficult to come up with a single bill. Regrettably, since both sides can’t make further efforts, there is no option but to take a vote.”


 The main reason for the failure in reaching a consensus in the ruling coalition is that the LDP was negative about merging electoral districts, with a senor Upper House member saying, “We cannot accept the reform of the Upper House electoral system, which would be disadvantageous” to the LDP. (Abridged)

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