July 11, 2010 Held

Registered to Vote


Election for Shugiin (Japanese House of Representatives)

More Info:

At stake in this election:

  • 121 seats in the House of Councillors (Sangiin)

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: Emperor AKIHITO
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Yukio HATOYAMA
  • 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.

Description of electoral system:

  • The Emperor is hereditary.
  • The 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.**

* Terms are staggered with one half of each tier elected every election. In the ordinal tier, there is one nationwide district. In the nominal tier, constituencies correspond to prefectural or metropolitan boundaries. There are 47 constituencies with magnitudes ranging from 2 and 10 seats. Because half of all members are up for reelection every cycle, 29 members 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. In order to secure a seat, a candidate must obtain enough votes that are 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 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 of all votes to win a seat.

Main parties in the electoral race:


Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 126,804,433 (July 2010 est.)
  • Registered Voters: 103,356,879 (September 2005 )