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 Japan's House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament.
Voters will give their verdict on six-and-a-half years of rule by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with campaign debate likely to center on the planned consumption tax hike, public pensions and proposed constitutional revisions.
A total of 370 people--215 for prefectural constituencies and 155 for proportional representation seats--filed their candidacies, down from 389 candidates in the previous Upper House election in 2016.
Abe's ruling bloc aims to secure a majority of contested seats to ensure a stable government. A majority requires it to win 63 or more contested seats.
But Abe himself has said the ruling coalition aims to secure a majority of contested and uncontested seats together, a target that can be achieved if it wins 53 contested seats.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]