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830 possible candidates preparing for Lower House poll

Tokyo, Dec. 29 (Jiji Press)–With the current term of House of Representatives lawmakers in Japan due to expire on Oct. 21, 2021, a total of 830 possible candidates are preparing to run in the next Lower House election, a Jiji Press survey has revealed.


As Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is focusing on the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, he is viewed as unlikely to dissolve the Lower House for a snap election before the government’s fiscal 2021 budget is enacted, expected for late March, as well as during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next summer.


According to the survey, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has almost finalized plans to field candidates in 275 of the 289 single-seat constituencies for the Lower House, which also has 176 proportional representation seats.


In seven of the 275 constituencies, the LDP sees more than one possible candidate and has to coordinate them.


Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, is poised to field candidates in nine constituencies where it did so in the last three Lower House polls, while planning to newly endorse a candidate in the No. 3 constituency of Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan.


Komeito also plans to allow 25 candidates to run for proportional representation seats without seeking elections in constituencies.


Meanwhile, the opposition camp has been slow to unify candidates in Lower House constituencies. The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan has picked candidates in 201 constituencies, while the Japanese Communist Party has selected candidates in 125 constituencies. Their candidates overlap in 66 constituencies now.


Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), which maintains a cooperative attitude to the ruling coalition, has informally decided 58 constituency candidates.


Outside its home ground of the Kinki western region, Nippon Ishin looks set to take an aggressive election strategy in the Tokyo metropolitan area, with a view to expanding its activities nationwide.


The Democratic Party for the People has announced plans to field 21 constituency candidates and a proportional representation candidate. The DPP is currently slated to conflict with the CDP in three constituencies.


In the Social Democratic Party, eight people are preparing to run in constituencies.


Reiwa Shinsengumi’s 19 possible constituency candidates are expected to be all included in the party’s list for proportional representation seats.


The opposition parties are accelerating work to have all constituencies see opposition candidates, but no candidates other than LDP ones are expected in eight constituencies at the moment.

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