Note: In the results above, the seats listed are the total number of seats won in the election. The vote counts and percentages represent the single-member district vote.
At stake in this election:
- 480 seats in the House of Representatives (Shugiin)
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: N/A*
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Yoshihiko NODA
- Assembly: Japan has a bicameral Diet (Kokkai) consisting of the House of Councillors (Sangiin) with 242 seats and the House of Representatives (Shugiin) with 480 seats.
* Japan's emperor, AKHITO serves as a symbolic figurehead of the nation's past. Unlike other monarchies, the emperor of Japan is not even the nominal head of state. Japan's Constitution, written in 1947, demoted the emperor to a “symbol of the state and of the unity of the people,” stripping the emperor of all “powers related to government.”
Description of electoral system:
- Prime Minister is appointed by parliament.
- In the House of Councillors (Sangiin), 96 members are elected through an open-list proportional representation system to serve 6-year terms and 146 members are elected by single non-transferable vote to serve 6-year terms*. In the House of Representatives (Shugiin), 300 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms and 180 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.**
* Every three years, 121 members are up for re-election through a mixed system that includes proportional representation and prefectural district elections where constituencies correspond to prefectural or metropolitan boundaries. In the first tier, 48 seats are allocated on a nationwide basis by the D'Hondt method, an open list proportional representation system. In order to secure a seat a candidate must obtain enough votes equal to or greater than one-sixth of the total number of valid votes, divided by the number of contested seats in the district In the second tier, there are 47 constituencies (or prefectures) with magnitudes ranging from 2 and 10 seats. 73 members are elected from these districts or constituencies using the Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) system. 29 members typically run in single-seat districts (their fellow district representative is not running) and 44 members run in 18 multi-member districts consisting of anywhere between 2 and 5 seats. Under SNTV, electors vote for one candidate in a multi-candidate race, and the candidates with the largest number of votes in each district, up to the number of seats to be filled, are elected to office.
** In the proportional representation tier, there are 11 multi-member districts consisting of anywhere between 6 and 29 seats. Candidacy in both tiers is permitted, however, candidates are only allowed to run in the proportional representation block in which their single-seat constituency is located. Candidates running in single-member districts must secure one-sixth of valid votes to win a seat.
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Party: Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
- Leader: Yoshihiko NODA
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 231
- Party: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
- Leader: Shinzo ABE
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 118
- Party: New Komeito
- Leader: Akihiro OHTA
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 21
- Party: Social Democratic Party of Japan (SDPJ)
- Leader: Mizuho FUKUSHIMA
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 5
- Party: Japanese Communist Party (JCP)
- Leader: Kazuo SHII
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 9
- Party: Your Party / Minna-no-To
- Leader: Yoshimi WATANABE
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 8
- Party: People’s New Party / Kokumin Shinto*******
- Leader: Shozaburo JIMI
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 2
- Coalition: New Party Daichi – True Democrats / Daichi-Shin Minshu
- Leader: Suzuki MUNEO
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 3
- Party: Japan Restoration Party / Nippon Ishin no Kai*********
- Leader: Toru HASHIMOTO
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 11
- Party: Japan Future Party**********
- Leader: Yukiko KADA
- Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 61
******* Shizuka KAMEI, former head of the People’s New Party, was dismissed after a disagreement over abandoning a legislative coalition with the ruling Democratic Party of Japan to raise the consumption tax rate. KAMEI protested the consumption tax hike, whereas six other PNP lawmakers were in favor of it.
********* Shintaro ISHIHARA’s Sunrise Party merged with the Japan Restoration Party on November 17, 2012.
********** The party formed on November 27, merging with Tax Cut Japan (Takashi KAWAMURA), People’s Life Party (Ichiro OZAWA), and the Green Wind Party.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 127,561,489 (2012)
- Registered Voters: 103,959,866 ( 2009 )
· Female Population: 65,464,426 (2012)
· Is Japan a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (17 July 1980)
· Has Japan ratified CEDAW: Yes (25 June 1985)
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: Yes
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 38 (House of Representatives); 17(House of Councillors)
· Human Development Index Position: 20 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is Japan a signatory to CRPD: Yes (28 September 2007)
· Has Japan ratified CRPD: Yes (20 January 2014)
· Population with a disability: 19,134,223 (est.)