Voting from Pacific Isles, Antarctica Possible for Sunday Poll in Japan

Politics Society

Tokyo, July 18 (Jiji Press)--The absentee ballot system will allow Japanese people away from their homes due to work and other reasons, even those on remote islands in the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica, to cast their votes in Sunday's election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

A total of some 340 Maritime and Air Self-Defense Force personnel are on Iwojima, formally Iwoto, and Minamitorishima, both uninhabited Pacific islands more than 1,000 kilometers south from central Tokyo, on a mission to take care of air bases there.

While the two islands belong to the village of Ogasawara in Tokyo, most of the troops are residents of the city of Ayase, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, one of the two municipalities that host the MSDF's Atsugi base.

On Thursday, a male worker of the Ayase election board took a three-hour flight to Iwojima and set up a polling station at the air base on the island.

"It's a meaningful task to convey each and every personnel's voice to the state in the form of a vote," he said after collecting the troops' voting slips and returning from the island the following day.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press