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Path to agreement on dissolving merged constituencies fraught with difficulties

  • February 22, 2018
  • , Yomiuri , p. 4
  • JMH Translation

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) submitted a draft provision for a constitutional amendment designed to dissolve merged constituencies for upper house elections to the Upper House Commission on the Constitution on Feb. 21. It is the first of the LDP’s four proposed constitutional amendments. The LDP aims to have the Diet initiate an amendment by the end of this year after obtaining a broad consensus. But no party voiced agreement, giving the impression right from the start that building a consensus will be tough.


The LDP’s proposal says a provision would be added to Article 47 allowing at least one person to be elected from each prefecture-based electoral district in upper house elections held every three years. Naoki Okada, secretary-general of the LDP’s Constitutional Reform Promotion Headquarters, told the Upper House commission, “Making the ratio of population the sole criterion would create a regional gap in reflecting public opinion and nurture a sense of inequality among residents,” seeking understanding for the LDP’s plan to revise the current system of focusing on population.


The LDP’s coalition partner Komeito is negative about the LDP’s plan. Makoto Nishida, secretary-general for Komeito in the House of Councillors, said, “Equality of the value of a vote is required in the Upper House as well.” His comment was intended to point out that the LDP’s plan, which could widen the disparity in the relative weight of a vote, may run counter to Article 14, which stipulates the equality of the value of a vote.


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