First round of local elections today
Japanese voters go to the polls today in local elections. There are ten gubernatorial elections in Hokkaido, Kanagawa, Fukui, Mie, Nara, Tottori, Shimane, Tokushima, Fukuoka and Oita prefectures. There are also prefectural elections in 41 of the 47 prefectures and 17 of 20 cities with populations greater than 500,000 people.
A total of 3,273 candidates were nominated for 2,284 seats. The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has demonstrated that it is still in crisis after it dropped 226 seats and is only 345 seats. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) increased its number of candidates by more than 75 and is putting up 1,319 candidates.
The deficit between the two parties is so great that 501 candidates have been declared elected unopposed of which 348 come from the LDP.
A second round of local elections will take place on 26th/27th April when more than 200 Mayoral elections take place along with 700 assembly elections in smaller cities, towns and villages.
Turnout in Japanese elections is notoriously low.