Redrawn electoral map raises concerns in Japan’s rural areas

The revised public offices election law was enacted in November 2022, rejigging single-seat constituencies in the House of Representatives to rectify vote-value disparities.

After the Supreme Court ruled repeatedly that Lower House elections had been held in an unconstitutional state because of vote-value gaps of two times or more, 10 seats will be transferred from the least populous rural areas to the most densely populated urban areas.

But the seat reallocation raised strong concerns, primarily in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, that local voters may find it more difficult to make their voices heard in national politics. The trend of the number of rural seats being reduced is unlikely to cease, however, as long as the electoral map continues to be based on population size.

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