Assembly Election Campaigns Begin in Japanese Prefectures, Major Cities

Politics

Tokyo, March 29 (Jiji Press)--Election campaigns began in 41 prefectures and 17 ordinance-designated major cities in Japan on Friday to select assembly members.

Major campaign issues include ways to address declining populations and revitalize local economies. The focus of attention is whether the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will maintain its majority.

Voting is set for April 7 as part of the first leg of unified local elections, considered a test of voter sentiment before this summer's election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament.

As of 1:20 p.m. (4:20 a.m. GMT), 3,057 people, including 389 women, filed their candidacies for a total of 2,277 seats in the prefectural assembly races, according to a Jiji Press tally. The final number of candidates is expected to hit a record low.

The proportion of female candidates is expected to surpass the current record of 11.6 pct. The share of candidates winning uncontested is also likely to hit a record high. Of the country's 47 prefectures, no assembly election will take place in Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tokyo and Okinawa this time.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press