Voting Underway for Japan's Upper House Election

Politics

Tokyo, July 10 (Jiji Press)--Voting is underway for Sunday's House of Councillors election in Japan, with major issues in the poll including measures to deal with soaring prices as well as national security.

Balloting started at 7 a.m. (10 p.m. Saturday GMT) at about 46,000 polling stations across the country. Voter turnout as of 4 p.m. stood at 23.01 pct, up 0.29 percentage point from the previous 2019 election for the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, according to the internal affairs ministry.

Up for grabs are 124 seats--74 for prefectural constituencies and 50 for the nationwide proportional representation system--plus one seat to fill a vacancy in Kanagawa Prefecture, eastern Japan. The focus in the Upper House poll is whether the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, can together win 63 seats, a majority of the 125 seats.

Voting is set to close at 8 p.m. except in some areas. Vote counting will begin immediately, with results seen becoming available late Sunday night.

The triennial election has been closely watched as a test for policies of the administration of Prime Minister and LDP President Fumio Kishida. It is the first major parliamentary election since the general election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, in late October 2021, shortly after Kishida took office early that month.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press