Top Court: Vote Gap In 2017 Poll Constitutional

Top court: Vote gap in 2017 poll constitutional

Japan's Supreme Court has ruled that the disparity in the values of votes cast in last year's Lower House election does not violate the country's Constitution.

Two groups of lawyers had filed lawsuits across Japan claiming that the vote disparity in October 2017 violates the Constitution's guarantee of vote equality.

The value of votes in the least populated constituencies was up to 1.98 times that of the most populated ones.

The plaintiffs demanded that the results of the election be annulled.

Grand Bench presiding justice Naoto Otani on Wednesday said that there no longer exist electoral districts in which the weight of a vote was more than two times that of any other.

He said that since a law revision in 2016, the government has been gradually rectifying the gap from the viewpoint of securing the stability of the electoral system.

The justice ruled that the disparity in last year's election was not in a state of being against the Constitution's guarantee of vote equality.

The top court had ruled that three Lower House elections up until 2014 were held in a state of unconstitutionality.

But in last year's election, the demarcation of about one-third of constituencies was reviewed to reduce weight disparities to under twofold.