By Shotaro Miyasaka
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (president of the Liberal Democratic Party) appointed cabinet ministers and party executives primarily from the prefectures where he won more regional votes than his rivals in the latest LDP presidential election. Three out of four new party executives and 40% of the new cabinet ministers represent the prefectures where he won all three votes allocated to each prefectural chapter. The vote-drawing power of lawmakers in the party leadership race indicates how much influence they have in their constituencies and Suga apparently valued the factor in appointing party executives and cabinet ministers.
In the prefectural chapters that the three of the four new party executives represent, Suga secured all three votes. The three prefectures are Wakayama, where Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai is from; Tokyo, Policy Research Council Chairperson Hakubun Shimomura’s constituency; and Saitama, home to Election Strategy Committee Chairperson Taimei Yamaguchi. All prefectural chapters decided on who to support in the latest LDP leadership race through a “winner-takes-all” system by giving all three votes to the winner in the preliminary election.
The Tochigi chapter, to which General Council Chairperson Tsutomu Sato belongs, gave two of the three votes to Suga. The chapter adopted the D’Hondt method to distribute votes to each candidate in proportion to the number of votes obtained in the preliminary election and Suga garnered the largest number of votes.
Suga secured 89 of the 141 regional votes, which account for 63% of the total. He got all three votes in 10 of the 47 prefectures and obtained two of the three votes in 24 prefectures, giving him an advantage over other candidates.
Of the 18 new cabinet ministers, except for those of Komeito and those elected in the proportional representation section of the Upper House election, seven ministers, or a little under 40% of the total, represent the prefectures “dominated” by Suga. And 14 ministers, or close to 80% of the total, are from the 34 prefectures where Suga “held a dominant position.”
Many state ministers and parliamentary vice-ministers are also elected from the 34 prefectures where Suga either dominated or got the upper hand. Of the 42 state ministers and parliamentary vice-ministers, except for those of Komeito and those who ran only in proportional representation constituencies, 90% of them represent the constituencies in the 34 prefectures. Eighty percent of state ministers and all parliamentary vice-ministers are from these constituencies. (Abridged)