Two Japan Courts Find Upper House Election Constitutional

Politics Society

Tokyo, Oct. 30 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese high court and a high court branch ruled Wednesday that the July election for the House of Councillors was constitutional in terms of vote-value disparity, rejecting calls by the plaintiffs to invalidate the Upper House election results.

The rulings were made by Tokyo High Court and Fukuoka High Court's branch in Miyazaki. In the election, the maximum vote-value disparity stood at 3.00, meaning one vote in the least populated constituency was equivalent to three votes in the most populated one.

They were the sixth and the seventh rulings in 16 lawsuits filed with high courts and high court branches across the country over the election for the upper chamber of the Diet, or parliament. So far, there have been five "constitutional" decisions and two rulings saying the election was carried out "in a state of unconstitutionality."

At the Tokyo court, Presiding Judge Kazuhiro Yagi said, "The vote-value disparity has slightly improved and the Diet has maintained its resolve to correct the gap."

The Supreme Court has concluded that the 2016 Upper House election, in which the maximum disparity fell to 3.08 from 4.77 in the previous 2013 election thanks to the integration of two pairs of sparsely populated neighboring western Japan prefectures into single constituencies, was constitutional.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press