Tokyo, Dec. 29 (Jiji Press)–A total of 656 people are preparing to run in the next election for Japan’s House of Representatives, a survey by Jiji Press released on Sunday showed.
The term of office for members of the Lower House expires on Oct. 21, 2021. The chamber has 289 seats from single-seat constituencies and 176 seats from proportional representation.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party aims to secure at least two thirds of seats for LDP members and others supportive of his plan to amend the Constitution. A two-thirds majority is necessary to propose constitutional amendment for approval in a national referendum.
From the LDP, 298 people plan to run in the election, including 275 for the single-seat districts. The party has no plans to field candidates in nine constituencies where candidates from its coalition partner, Komeito, are set to run.
There are 249 prospective candidates from four major opposition parties–the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party. They include independents.
There are no prospective candidates from the major opposition parties in nearly 30 pct of the single-seat constituencies, mainly in the Tohoku northeastern and Kyushu southwestern Japan regions.
The CDPJ and the DPFP, which are in merger talks, plan to unify their candidates to better compete with the LDP. The JCP is expected to join them in the effort.
From Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), 28 people plan to run. Reiwa Shinsengumi, a new political group, plans to field about 100 candidates after winning two seats in July’s House of Councillors election.