Supreme Court Finds 2017 Lower House Election Constitutional

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--The Supreme Court said Wednesday that the October 2017 House of Representatives election was constitutional in terms of vote-value disparities, the first such ruling for any Lower House poll since 2005.

Gaps in the value of votes between constituencies in the 2017 election reached a maximum of 1.98 times, falling below 2.0 for the first time since the introduction of a single-seat constituency system in Japan.

In the ruling, the top court's Grand Bench noted that parliament's "efforts to gradually correct" the vote-value gaps led to the improvement.

The court has also ruled that the last election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, held in 2016, was constitutional.

Wednesday's ruling reflected a majority opinion, expressed by 11 of the Grand Bench's 15 justices. Of the four others, two deemed the 2017 election as having been held in an "unconstitutional state," while the remaining two claimed that the election violated the constitution, with one of them even finding some election results invalid.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press