Nearly all candidates for the 45 electoral districts in the House of Councillors election have been finalized. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito are expected to clash in seven out of the nine multi-seat constituencies that will elect three to six Upper House members, but the LDP is endorsing the Komeito candidate in five of these districts. A key issue now is how far the two parties will be able to cooperate toward the goal of winning a majority of the seats being contested in this election, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set as the criterion for judging electoral victory.
The LDP and Komeito secretaries general and election strategy chiefs met on June 8 to discuss how to deal with the multi-seat districts. Of the seven constituencies where LDP candidates are running against Komeito candidates, it was agreed that that the Prime Minister and senior LDP officials will campaign for the Komeito candidates in the five districts where the LDP is endorsing them.
Meanwhile, although the Democratic Party (DP) and the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) have succeeded in fielding one single opposition candidate in all the single-seat districts, these two parties will be fighting each other in all 13 multi-seat districts that will elect 2 to 6 Upper House members. (Abridged)