More than 830 candidates are preparing to run in the next House of Representatives election, although both the both ruling and opposition camps are still trying to sort out arrangements for electoral alliances, according to a Kyodo News survey released Sunday.
As of Saturday, 740 candidates had announced plans to run in single-seat constituencies, while 92 were to run in the proportional representation section. The total of 832 is about 60 percent of the total in the previous Lower House election in 2000.
The four-year term of office for Lower House members will end June 24 next year, but an election could be held at any time if Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi decides to dissolve the house before then.
Koizumi has said he may dissolve the chamber after his ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election in September, if he is re-elected head of the party.
Some 287 LDP members plan to run in the 300 single-seat constituencies across Japan. Among its ruling coalition partners, New Komeito will field 10 candidates, mainly in Osaka, and the New Conservative Party will field 11, according to the survey.
The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan is preparing to field 195 candidates, while the Liberal Party will put up 51.
The Japanese Communist Party had 109 candidates as of Saturday, but aims to field candidates in almost all electoral districts. The Social Democratic Party will field 32 candidates.
A total of 40 candidates plan to run as independents.
The three ruling parties still have to coordinate their alliances over candidates in 10 districts, including the Tokyo No. 12 and Shizuoka No. 7 constituencies.
In the opposition camp, the DPJ and the Liberal Party have already agreed to cooperate in fielding candidates in 110 districts and the two parties are now discussing with the SDP about unified support for candidates.
In the proportional representation section, the LDP plans to field 42 candidates, including former prime ministers Yasuhiro Nakasone and Kiichi Miyazawa. The DPJ plans to field 13, New Komeito 24 and the JCP 10.
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