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Electoral reform law comes into force

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The revised Public Offices Election Law came into force on Sunday, redrawing the electoral map for the House of Representatives to narrow disparities in the weight of votes between constituencies.

The revision affected a total of 97 constituencies in Tokyo and 18 prefectures.

The rezoning, which followed Supreme Court rulings that found the past three elections for the lower chamber of parliament to have been held in “a state of unconstitutionality,” paves the way for a decision by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to dissolve the all-important lower house for a snap election.

The number of single-seat constituencies was cut by one each in six prefectures — Aomori, Iwate, Mie, Nara, Kumamoto and Kagoshima.

Electoral districts were also revamped in Tokyo and 12 prefectures — Hokkaido, Miyagi, Fukushima, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Aichi, Osaka, Hyogo, Ehime, Fukuoka and Nagasaki.

As a result, a record 105 municipalities each have two or more constituencies.

The legislative revision reduced the maximum vote-value gap between constituencies to 1.999 to one on the basis of the population estimate for 2020.

The number of lawmakers elected under the proportional representation system will be cut by one each in the Tohoku, northern Kanto, Kinki and Kyushu regional blocs.

Overall, the number of lower house seats was reduced by 10 to a post-World War II low of 465, consisting of 289 for single-seat constituencies and 176 for regional proportional representation blocs.Speech

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