Campaigning Starts for Japan Upper House Poll
Tokyo, July 4 (Jiji Press)--The 17-day official campaign period started on Thursday for the July 21 election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of Japan's parliament.
Voters will give their verdict on six-and-a-half years of rule by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the poll, with campaign debate likely to center on the planned consumption tax hike, the pension system and proposed constitutional revisions.
As of 3:40 p.m. Thursday (6:40 a.m. GMT), 370 people--215 for prefectural constituencies and 155 for proportional representation only--had filed their candidacies for the Upper House election. The total compares with 389 people who filed their candidacies in the previous poll for the chamber in 2016.
The ruling bloc of Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, aims to secure a majority of contested seats in the Upper House, by stressing to voters the need for a stable government.
Half of all Upper House seats are contested in every triennial election for the chamber.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]