Dec. 16, 2012, midnight
On December 16, 2012, Japan held elections to its 480-seat parliament (Shugiin).� In the Shugiin, 300 members are elected via a plurality vote in single-member districts, and 180 members are elected proportionally in a nationwide constituency.�� Members serve 4-year terms in both tiers.� On Sunday, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) scored a landslide victory over the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). The conservative LDP defeated the DPJ with a total of 294 to 57 parliamentary seats. Other parties winning seats in parliament included the New Komeito Party (31), the Restoration Party (54), Your Party (18), the Communist Party (8), and the Japan Future Party (9).� Leaders of the LDP and the New Komeito Party are eyeing a coalition agreement to command a two-thirds majority in the Shugiin. Voter turnout on Election Day was extraordinarily low, at roughly 59 percent for both single member and proportional tiers, a 9.6 percent drop from the 2009 general election.