As of Saturday, one rural vote is worth a maximum 2.124 votes in an urban district, where previously it amounted to 2.628, according to an analysis of the latest population table released Friday by the home ministry.
The narrowing in the difference in weight between votes cast in the countryside and in urban electoral districts follows the redistricting Saturday of House of Representatives constituencies. Greater vote-weight disparities remain in the House of Councilors.
The number of House of Representatives constituencies in which one vote is worth two or more in other constituencies falls to 19 from 96.
The figure still falls short of a provision stipulating that a vote in one district should not be worth more than two in another, suggesting that calls for further constituency redrawing are likely to continue unabated.
The latest population data, updated by the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry, show that the maximum difference for the House of Councilors districts has grown to 4.827, up 0.03 point from a year ago.
The figure, meaning one vote in one district is worth 4.827 in another, compares Tokyo with Tottori Prefecture. Whereas in Tokyo one Upper House member represents 1.48 million people, one such member represents just 308,321 people in Tottori.
The redistricting of the Lower House constituencies follows the passage in May of an amendment to the Public Offices Election Law.
The legislation is aimed at correcting the skewed distribution of parliamentary seats in rural and urban areas.
The amendment added one additional single-seat constituency to each of five prefectures Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Shiga and Okinawa and subtracted one each from five other prefectures Hokkaido, Yamagata, Shizuoka, Shimane and Oita.
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