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POLITICS > Elections

Record-tying 28 women elected in Japan Upper House poll

  • July 22, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 01:43 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, July 22 (Jiji Press)–Twenty-eight women were elected in Sunday’s election for the House of Councillors, tying the record high marked in the previous election for the upper chamber of Japan’s parliament in 2016. 

Of the total, 18 won seats in prefecture-based constituencies, up by one from the 2016 election and hitting a record high, while 10 were elected in the nationwide proportional representation system.


Meanwhile, the share of elected women in all female candidates dropped 2.3 percentage points from the 2016 election to 26.9 pct, falling behind 36.1 for that of winners among all male candidates.

The triennial Upper House election was the first large-scale national election that has been held since the enactment in May 2018 of the law that calls on political parties and other political organizations to make efforts to field equal numbers of men and women in elections.

Women accounted for a record 28.1 pct of all candidates, but the proportion of women among all successful candidates was lower, at 22.6 pct.

In Tokyo, where six seats were contested, half of the seats went to women. Also, women won half of four contested seats each in Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures.

By party, 10 of 12 female candidates from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party captured seats, including Akiko Santo, who was elected for a record eighth time. She served as the first female leader of an LDP faction for about two years from 2015.

From Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, two female candidates both gained seats.

Among four major opposition parties that actively fielded female candidates in the election, six of 19 candidates from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan won seats.

The Japanese Communist Party fielded 22 women, the highest number by party, but only three of them were elected.

Only one of 10 candidates from the Democratic Party for the People won a seat, while no woman from the Social Democratic Party was elected.

Among the opposition parties’ unified candidates in single-seat prefectural constituencies who ran as independents, four women were elected. From Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) and new political group Reiwa Shinsengumi, one woman each won a seat for the first time.

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