• Staff, Kyodo


Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) leader and Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada apologized Wednesday for her newly formed party’s chaotic and delayed submission of proportional representation candidate lists for the Dec. 16 general election.

The week-old party filed most of the lists with the internal affairs ministry right on Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline, and it then took some 5½ hours before the lists and accompanying documentation were finally accepted — an unusually long time to process them.

“As party chief, I apologize for the lack of preparations,” Kada told reporters in Tokyo.

Nippon Mirai will field 119 candidates for the proportional representation segment, and most of them have double-candidacy with single-seat districts.

Kada officially announced the launch of Nippon Mirai on Nov. 27. The party was immediately joined by political don Ichiro Ozawa’s Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daiichi (People’s Life First) group, which disbanded the same day.

Asked if there had been any confrontation between her allies and those of Ozawa over the party’s lists, Kada said that is an internal matter for Nippon Mirai but added she plans to provide an explanation after being fully briefed about what went wrong.

All political parties are required to hand in lists showing the priority of their proportional representation candidates on the first day of the official campaign to the internal affairs ministry, which is in charge of election management.

According to the ministry, Nippon Mirai’s belated submission was extraordinary.

“Because we need to process a large volume of documents, we ask parties to hand them in by the previous day for prior checks,” said Yasuhiro Yasumoto, a ministry official in charge of election management.

These documents include lists of candidates in each regional block, copies of their family registers and certificates proving they paid a deposit to run in the poll.

Yasumoto said other parties submitted documents that had already been checked Tuesday morning, but Nippon Mirai had only processed part of its lists.

And after the party handed in most of the documents at the last minute, its officials briefly were unable to find certain required documents, further delaying the processing, Yasumoto added.

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