More than 20 years have passed since the introduction of the single-seat electoral district system in Japan’s House of Representatives. This reform was accompanied by a restructuring that created proportional representation in the same chamber. Some people still think that the old, multi-seat constituency system functioned better. Let’s think about what kind of electoral system is desirable in Japan.

Before discussing reform of the electoral system, there are two issues we must first consider. The first is the value of a vote. It is the foundation of democracy that each vote cast is equal in value. However, inequality in the value of votes between populous and less populous electoral districts has been a long-standing problem. Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings that the disparity in the value of votes is “in the state of unconstitutionality,” politicians have been slow in rectifying it — a shameful inaction.

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