Court Finds Japan Upper House Poll in "Unconstitutional State"

Politics Society

Sapporo, Oct. 24 (Jiji Press)--Sapporo High Court ruled Thursday that the July 21 election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, was held in "a state of unconstitutionality" in terms of vote-value disparity.

The ruling was the second on a total of 16 lawsuits filed by two groups of lawyers with high courts or high court branches across the country over the triennial election, in which the maximum vote-value disparity, or the gap in the number of eligible voters per seat between the prefectural constituencies with the most and least number of voters, stood at 3.00 times, compared with 3.08 times in the previous Upper House election in July 2016.

Earlier this month, Takamatsu High Court also found that the latest election was held in an unconstitutional state.

"The disparity was in a state of being remarkably unfair, and there is no reason to justify it," said Presiding Judge Kazuhiko Tomita at the court in Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido.

The court, however, rejected the demand that the election results be invalidated, leading the plaintiffs' side to file an appeal with the Supreme Court immediately.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press