Govt. panel proposes new demarcations of single-seat constituencies

A Japanese government panel has come up with an advisory on new demarcations of single-seat constituencies for Lower House elections.

The panel members held a meeting on Thursday. They adopted a plan to review the current demarcations based on findings of the 2020 census and other data.

Under the plan, the demarcations of 140 single-seat constituencies in 25 prefectures will be changed.

The number of single-seat districts will increase in five prefectures.

Tokyo will add five more constituencies and will have 30 in total. Kanagawa will have two additions. Saitama, Chiba, and Aichi will each have one more.

On the other hand, 10 prefectures, namely Miyagi, Fukushima, Niigata, Shiga, Wakayama, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Ehime and Nagasaki, will each lose one constituency.

In other 10 prefectures, new demarcations will be introduced although the number of constituencies will remain the same.

The panel has used a new method that is believed to give the number of constituencies in a prefecture most appropriate for its ratio of population, as required by law.

The new demarcation plan is expected to narrow the disparity in the values of votes between the most populous Fukuoka's 2nd electoral district and the least populous Tottori's 2nd district from 2.096 times to 1.999 times.

The panel submitted the advisory to Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.

Kishida said that his Cabinet will report the proposed demarcations to the Diet expeditiously, and take necessary legislative steps.

The government plans to submit a bill to revise the Public Offices Election Act at an extraordinary Diet session to be convened later this year.