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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 20 - 26  > JCP Kokuta opposes bills to slash number of Diet seats
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2016 April 20 - 26 [POLITICS]

JCP Kokuta opposes bills to slash number of Diet seats

April 23, 2016
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Kokuta Keiji on April 22 at a House of Representatives plenary session stressed the need to change the current election system to one accurately reflecting voters’ will, not to cut the number of Diet seats.

On this day, the House of Representatives began discussing bills to reduce the number of Diet seats. The bills were submitted separately by the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties and the opposition Democratic Party. Both of the bills aim at cutting the House’s fixed number of parliamentarians by 10 (6 out of the 295 elected in single-seat constituencies and 4 of the 180 elected in proportional representation blocs) and making a change in ways to allot seats in single-seat districts under the existing system, the combination of single-member constituencies and proportional representation blocs. The three parties presented their bills in response to a report compiled by an advisory panel to the Lower House Speaker in regard to the issue of vote-value disparities.

Kokuta in his interpellation said, “The election system’s fundamental role is to reflect the public will in the composition of the legislature,” and criticized the current system centering on the single-seat constituency system for distorting the will of the public.

Kokuta also pointed out that the size of Japan’s Lower House is not overly large compared with that of lower houses in other countries. “A parliamentarian is a tool for the general public to demonstrate their will in the Diet. The reduction in the number of Diet seats means to curtail people’s access to national politics, which will deteriorate the Diet’s constitutional function to monitor government actions.”

Past related article:
> JCP Kokuta condemns panel report calling for cutting number of Diet seats [December 17, 2015]
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