JAPAN
Parliamentary Chamber: Sangiin

ELECTIONS HELD IN 2001

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Chamber:
  Sangiin


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  29 July 2001


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for one-half (121) of the seats in the House of Councillors on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  Elections for half of the membership of the House of Councillors were held on 29 July 2001, as is the case every three years. Given that the number of members had been reduced earlier in the year by five seats to 247, only 121 seats were at stake. This election also introduced a change in the proportional representation constituency voting system, allowing people to vote for either individual candidates or political parties. Under the previous system, voters could only choose parties. This new system prompted parties to field celebrity candidates with nationwide voter appeal.

The election was the first Diet poll since the Koizumi administration was inaugurated on 26 April 2001, following the resignation of former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori amid abysmal public support rating. An LDP victory would ensure Mr Koizumi's re-election as the party's president.

During the 17-day campaign, the various parties focused on Mr Koizumi's reform plans that included reining in the country's massive public debt and cleaning up a banking system burdened by bad loans.

Some 496 candidates contested the 121 seats at stake: 292 of them ran for the 73 seats representing all 47 prefectures, while the remaining 204 competed for the 48 seats in the proportional representation section.

The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), New Komeito and the New Conservative Party, that had held 137 seats before the elections, ended up with 138, giving it a significantly stronger majority, in view of the new size of the House.

The DPJ won 26 seats, which gave it a representation of 59 members, while the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) kept 20 seats, as it lost 3. The Social Democratic Party (SDP), kept only 8 seats in the new House.

On 7 August 2001, during the first Diet session, the House of Councillors re-elected Mr. Yutaka Inoue as its President.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (29 July 2001): Elections results. Geographical constituencies:  
Number of registered electors 101 236 029
Voters 57 134 678 (56.44%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 2 796 194
Valid votes 54 338 484
Round no 1 (29 July 2001): Elections results. Proportional representation party-list system:  
Number of registered electors 101 309 680
Voters 57 151 380 (56.41%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 2 407 931
Valid votes 54 743 449

Round no 1: Distribution of votes. Geographical constituencies  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 49 22 299 825 41.04
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) 35 10 066 552 18.53
New Komeito 5 3 468 664 6.38
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 47 5 362 958 9.87
Liberal Party 14 3 011 787 5.54
Social Democratic Party (SDP) 14 1 874 299 3.45
Independents 47 5 685 911 10.41
Others 81 2 595 486 4.78
Round no 1: Distribution of votes. Proportional represetnation party-list system  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 27 21 114 727 38.57
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) 28 8 990 524 16.42
New Komeito 17 8 187 804 14.96
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 25 4 329 210 7.91
Liberal Party 17 4 227 148 7.72
Social Democratic Party (SDP) 10 3 628 623 6.63
New Conservative Party (NCP) 5 1 275 002 2.33

Round no 1: Distribution of seats. Geographical constituencies  
Political Group Total
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 44
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) 18
New Komeito 5
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 1
Liberal Party 2
Social Democratic Party (SDP) 0
Independents 3
Others 0
Round no 1: Distribution of seats. Proportional represetnation party-list system  
Political Group Total
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 20
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) 8
New Komeito 8
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 4
Liberal Party 4
Social Democratic Party (SDP) 3
New Conservative Party (NCP) 1

Round no 1: Distribution of seats. Totals  
Political Group Seats Total Seats 2001
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 110 64
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) 59 26
New Komeito 23 13
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 20 5
Liberal Party 8 6
Social Democratic Party (SDP) 8 3
New Conservative Party (NCP) 5 1
Independents 8 3
Others 6 0

Comments:
  The House of Councillors is now reduced from 252 to 247 seats.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 209
Women: 38
Percent of women: 15.38

Distribution of seats according to age:  
31 to 40 years 18
41 to 50 years 31
51 to 60 year 92
61 to 70 years 88
Over 70 years 18


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Copyright 2001 Inter-Parliamentary Union