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Female lawmakers faced with 10% “ceiling” in Lower House

  • October 25, 2017
  • , Asahi , p. 39
  • JMH Translation

The Oct. 22 Lower House election set a a record for the percentage of female candidates, but the percentage of women who won seats was about the same as last time at about 10%. Japan’s ranking for the proportion of women in parliament is among the lowest. Is there a “ceiling” that prevents women from winning seats in the Lower House?


Women won 47 of the 465 seats in the Lower House in the latest election. That accounts for 10.1% of all members, a slight increase from the 9.3% recorded in the previous election. This would put Japan at about 160th out of 193 countries in a study of female representation in government conducted by Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). The low percentage is attributable to the small number of female candidates backed by the ruling bloc. The latest election set a record for the percentage of female candidates at 17.7%. But only 7.5% of Liberal Democratic Party candidates were women and they accounted for 7.7% of all successful candidates. (Abridged)

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