Electoral System: Japan | Asia Pacific Greens

Electoral System: Japan

Government Type:

Parliamentary government with a Constitutional Monarchy - Bicameral Diet (Kokkai) consisting of the House of Councilors (Sangiin) and House of Representatives (Shugiin).

Head of State: 

Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister

Upper House total number of seats: 


Lower House total number of seats: 


Electoral Constituencies:

House of Councillors Electoral Constituencies:
• Directly elected (146 seats): 47 multi-member constituencies (of 2-10 seats) formed on a metropolitan or prefectural basis.
• Proportional representation (96 seats): One at-large constituency.


127.6 million (2012)

Number of registered voters: 

103 million (103,959,866)

Upcoming Elections:

  • House of Councillors: July 31, 2016 (date not confirmed)
  • House of Representatives: December 15, 2016 (date not confirmed)
Related Party: 
Parties (node reference): 
Electoral System: 
Electoral System: Mixed: Parallel (Segmented) (PR Lists and Majoritarian constituencies). (Parallel systems use Proportional Representation & majority formulas. Voters receive two separate ballot papers, one for the plurality/majority seat and one for the Proportional Representation seats; this is done in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand.) • Emperor: Hereditary. • Prime Minister: Designated from among the members of the Diet by a resolution in the Diet, and appointed by the Emperor. If the two houses of the Diet cannot agree, the decision of the House of Representatives is given precedence. • Parliament: 1. House of Representatives: Elected for a term of 4 years. • Directly elected (300 seats): Elected in a single-member district plurality system. • Proportional representation (180 seats): Elected in multi-member constituencies in a closed party list system. 2. House of Councillors: Members elected for a term of 6 years. Half of the House of Councillors is elected every 3 years. • Directly elected (146 seats): Elected in a single non-transferable vote system. • Proportional representation (96 seats): Elected in an open party list system.
Election Threshold: 
17% (de facto)
Election Deposit Requirement: 
¥3,000,000 JPY (single-seat constituency). ¥6,000,000 JPY (proportional representation)
Election Management Body: 

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications - Election Division; Central Election Management Council (www.soumu.go.jp/english/c-gyousei/index.html).

The Election Administrational Council is a 5-member body nominated by the Diet and appointed by the Prime Minister for a term of 3 years. The election of directly elected members to both Houses is managed by Prefectural election management committees. These committees are composed of 4 members, and are appointed by the prefectural assemblies for a term of 4 years.

Quota for women: 

There is no provision in Law or Regulations for gender quotas.

Next election date: 
Sunday, July 31, 2016