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Over 530 people preparing to run in Japan Upper House poll

Tokyo, June 18 (Jiji Press)–A total of 533 people are currently preparing to run in the July 10 triennial election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, a Jiji Press survey has found.


Of them, 365 are planning to file their candidacies in prefectural constituencies, and 168 under the nationwide proportional representation system.


The official campaign period is set to start Wednesday, when candidacies need to be filed.


The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will field candidates in all constituencies.


Meanwhile, election cooperation among opposition parties including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan has been limited, with their respective candidates seen competing with each other in many constituencies.


The total number of candidates would thus far exceed the 370 in the previous Upper House election in 2019.


Each Upper House member has a term of six years. Half of the Upper House seats are contested in each election.


The total number of Upper House seats is set to increase by three from the previous election to 248, with the addition of one seat to the prefectural constituency of Saitama, north of Tokyo, and two proportional representation seats.


Up for grabs this time are 124 seats and one to fill a vacancy in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo.


The LDP endorsed a total of 82 candidates–49 in the 45 prefectural constituencies and 33 for the proportional representation system.


Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also president of the LDP, has said the party and its coalition partner, Komeito, will aim to maintain their combined Upper House majority including seats not to be contested in the upcoming election, with this meaning that the ruling camp needs to win 56 or more of the 125 seats up for grabs.


The LDP temporarily considered refraining from fielding a candidate in the prefectural constituency of Yamagata, northeastern Japan, out of consideration to the incumbent Upper House member of the Democratic Party for the People from the constituency, whose seat will be contested. But the LDP eventually opted to put up its candidate in the face of complaints within the party. The DPFP, an opposition party, is coming close to the ruling coalition.


Komeito aims to garner eight million proportional representation votes and have all of its seven candidates in constituencies win seats.


The CDP, the largest opposition party, which has 23 seats to be contested, endorsed a total of 51 candidates–31 for prefectural constituencies and 20 for the proportional representation system.


In the past two Upper House polls in 2016 and 2019, opposition parties were able to unify their candidates in all 32 constituencies where one seat each was contested. But this time, opposition candidates have been unified in only 11 such constituencies.


Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) plans to field 20 candidates in prefectural constituencies and 26 for proportional representation seats, hoping to double its strength from six seats to be contested in the upcoming election.


The Japanese Communist Party endorsed 33 candidates in prefectural constituencies and 25 for proportional representation seats.


The DPFP will field 13 candidates for constituencies, including Yamagata, Aichi and Oita prefectures, where its incumbent members have seats that will be up for grabs, and nine under the proportional representation system.


Fourteen people are expected to run from Reiwa Shinsengumi, and 12 from the Social Democratic Party. The NHK Party, which is critical of Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK), plans to field 82 candidates.

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