Dec. 14, 2014 Held



Election for Shugiin (Japanese House of Representatives)


Voter Participation

Cast Votes:54,743,087
Valid Votes:52,939,790
Invalid Votes:1,803,297

Vote Share by Party:

Party Seats Won Seats Change Votes

Liberal Democratic Party (Jiyuminshuto) 290 - 25,461,449


Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) 73 - 11,916,849


Japan Innovation Party (Ishin no Tō) 41 - 4,319,646


New Komeito 35 - 765,390


Japan Communist Party (Nihon Kyosanto) 21 - 7,040,170


Independents (Independents) 9 - 1,511,242


Party for Future Generations (Jisedai No Tou) 2 - 947,396


Social Democratic Party of Japan (Shakai Minshuto) 2 - - 419,347


People's Life Party (Seikatsu no Tō) 2 - 514,575


Others (Others) - - 43,726

Election Results Modified: May 16, 2016

General Information

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:     

  • 475 seats in Japan’s House of Representatives (Shugiin)

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: Emperor AKHITO (since 7 January 1989) *
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Shinzo ABE (since 26 December 2012)
  • 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:

  • 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, 31 members run in single-seat districts (their fellow district representative is not running) and 42 members run in 16 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 all votes to win a seat.

Election Note:

On Sunday 14 December 2014, Japan will hold a “snap” election for the House of Representatives (Shugiin). Prime Minister Shinzo ABE reportedly called for the election because the Japanese economy was declared to be in recession and he is seeking a mandate to continue with reforms.[i]

Main parties in the electoral race:

  • Party: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) / Jiyū-Minshutō
    • Leader: Shinzo ABE
    • Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 294
  • Party: Democratic Party of Japan / Minshutō (DPJ)
    • Leader: Banri KAIEDA
    • Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 57
  • Party: New Komeito Party (NKP)
    • Leader: Natsuo YAMAGUCHI
    • Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 31
  • Party: Japanese Communist Party (JCP) / Nihon Kyōsan-tō
    • Leader: Kazuo SHII
    • Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 8
  • Party: Your Party (YP) / Minna no Tō
    • Leader: Yoshimi WATANBE
    • Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 18
  • Party: Japan Restoration Party (JRP) / Nippon Ishin no Kai
    • Leader: Shintaro ISHIHARA
    • Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 54
  • Party: Social Democratic Party (SDP) / Shakai Minshu-tō
    • Leader: Tadatomo YOSHIDA
    • Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 2
  • Party: Tomorrow Party of Japan (TPJ)
    • Leader: Tomoko ABE
    • Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 9
  • Party: Independents/Others
    • Leader: N/A
    • Seats won in last House of Representatives election: 5

Last election:

  • The last election to the House of Representatives in Japan (Shugiin) was held on 16 December 2012.[ii] Turnout was 59.32 percent and 61,669,473 of 103,959,866 casted ballots.[iii] The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won 31.6 percent of the vote or 294 seats in the House of Representatives, ousting the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) who won 16.6 percent of the vote or 57 seats.[iv] Results can be found here.

Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 127,103,388 (July 2014 est)[v]
  • Registered Voters: 103,959,866 (November 2012)[vi]

Gender Data:

  • Female Population: 65,406,061 (July 2014 est)[i]
  • Is Japan a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (17 July 1980)[ii]
  • Has Japan ratified CEDAW: Yes (25 June 1985)[iii]
  • Gender Quota:  No.[iv]
  • Female Candidates in this election: N/A
  • Number of Female Legislators: 39 (8.1%) of 480 seats in the House of Representatives (Shugiin).[v]
  • Human Development Index (HDI) Position: 17[vi]
  • Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Ranking: Not Ranked (latest rankings are from 2012)[vii]

[i] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/world/asia/prime-minister-shinzo-abe-calls-for-early-elections-in-japan.html?_r=1

[ii] http://www.electionguide.org/elections/id/533/

[iii] http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?CountryCode=JP

[iv] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ja.html

[v] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ja.html

[vi] http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?CountryCode=JP

[i] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ja.html

[ii] https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-8&chapter=4&lang=en

[iii] https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-8&chapter=4&lang=en

[iv] http://www.quotaproject.org/uid/countryview.cfm?country=160

[v] http://www.quotaproject.org/uid/countryview.cfm?country=160

[vi] http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/hdr/2014-human-development-report/

[vii] http://genderindex.org/ranking

Election Modified: Aug 17, 2023

Most Recent Elections in Japan

With Participation Rates