On Jan. 20, a legislators’ group aiming to give foreign nationals with permanent residency the right to vote in local elections held an online in-House meeting at the Upper House Members Building. Japanese Communist Party Upper House member Inoue Satoshi, Social Democratic Party Upper House member Fukushima Mizuho, and Upper House member Takara Tetsumi of the Okinawa no Kaze, an UH parliamentary group, participated.
Inoue said in his opening remarks: “It would reflect reality better for foreigners with permanent residency who are living in Japan, paying taxes, and bearing a certain level of responsibility as members of their local community to participate in local self-governance. Moreover, this would be in line with the spirit of local self-governance.”
Inoue mentioned the 1995 Supreme Court ruling that stated: “Guaranteeing permanent residents the right to participate in local elections is not prohibited by the Constitution,” stressing that “it is now the Diet’s job to make a decision whether or not to extend that right.” (Abridged)