Japan Ruling Bloc Rams Upper House Reform Bill thru Diet


Tokyo, July 18 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition rammed a bill to increase House of Councillors seats by six from the current 242 through the Diet, the country's parliament, on Wednesday, in spite of fierce resistance from the opposition camp.

The legislation is intended to correct vote-value disparities between densely and thinly populated Upper House electoral districts.

The bill to revise the public offices election law was approved at the day's plenary meeting of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, by a majority vote with the support from the LDP and its Komeito ally. All opposition parties voted against the legislation.

The Upper House passed the amendment last week. The number of Upper House seats will be raised to 248--148 for prefectural constituencies and 100 for the proportional representation system--beginning with the election scheduled for summer next year.

After Lower House steering committee chairman Keiji Furuya at an executive meeting on Wednesday decided to put the bill to a vote at a plenary meeting within the day, Kiyomi Tsujimoto, Diet affairs chief of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and other opposition party members, called on Lower House Speaker Tadamori Oshima not to convene the full Lower House meeting. But Oshima rejected their demand.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press