Court rules lower house poll invalid / Vote disparity in Hiroshima 'too wide'(Link)
HIROSHIMA --The Hiroshima High Court ruled Monday that the results in the No. 1 and No. 2 single-seat constituencies in Hiroshima Prefecture in the December 2012 House of Representatives election were invalid due to wide vote-value disparities.
This is the first ruling in the postwar period that has invalidated the result in an election for the lower house or the House of Councillors.
Presiding Judge Junko Ikadatsu also ruled that the wide vote-value disparities in the Dec. 16 lower house election were unconstitutional. If the ruling becomes final, elections will have to be held again in the two electoral districts.
Ikadatsu said the ruling will come into force on Nov. 27, 2013, depending on developments...
Hiroshima court rules Dec. election invalid over vote disparity(Link)
HIROSHIMA -- The Hiroshima High Court ruled Monday that the results of last December's general election in Hiroshima's No. 1 and 2 districts were invalid due to significant disparities in the weight of votes.
The court is the first in Japan to declare an election result void among a series of lawsuits over vote disparities.
The election results, however, will not be invalidated immediately if the local election board appeals against the latest decision.
Earlier this month, six other high courts and a high court branch in Japan found that disparities in the value of votes of up to 2.43 to 1 in the election were either unconstitutional or close to a state of unconstitutionality...
Wall Street Journal
Hiroshima Court Rules Election Invalid
By Toko Sekiguchi -- In a landmark ruling Monday, a Hiroshima court ruled the results of the December lower-house election invalid in two districts due to the disproportionate weighting of votes in those districts.
It was the first time a Japanese court ruled election results invalid on such grounds. It is seen as a victory for constitutional rights activists, who have long argued disparities in the weighting of votes in different districts violates the constitution. The ruling ups the ante on lawmakers to fix the system.
A string of past court rulings has found that the current electoral system doesn't uphold the principle of “one person, one vote,” as prescribed in the constitution. Still, the rulings acknowledged the validity of the results — until now.
Yet neither of the winning candidates in the two districts — including Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida — will need to immediately worry about their jobs.
According to local media reports, the ruling stipulates that the nullification of the election results takes effect only from Nov. 26. That gives Hiroshima's board of elections time to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Internal Affairs Ministry says even if the Supreme Court upholds the ruling, it won’t necessarily mean new polls...
Me, myself, I...
For Al-Jazeera six months ago, back in the days when I believed former prime minister Noda Yoshihiko had a backbone:
Will Japan's government disappear?
A Supreme Court ruling in Japan could shake up the political landscape of the country.
A pop quiz: Name the country in East Asia where national elections are illegal. In fact, holding a national election would be unconstitutional.
The answer: Japan.
Not the answer one would expect. However, on October 17, the Supreme Court of Japan ruled unconstitutional the current electoral districts used to assign seats in the House of Councillors. This complements the Supreme Court ruling of March 2010 [sic], which found the district boundaries of the House of Representatives to be also unconstitutional.
In both instances, the Court ruled that the elections selecting the current membership of the Diet were unconstitutional. This means that every single member of Japan's current parliament is occupying his or her seat illegally. In both cases, however, the Court wisely decided that what's done is done, and that having no Diet was worse than having an illegal one.
Creating a new Diet
Having ruled that the electoral districts of both Houses of the Diet are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has set the stage for a titanic contest of wills in between Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko and his Democratic Party of Japan and the main opposition alliance of the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito...
In the East Asia Forum, published on the day of the problematic election.
Japan’s ‘nothing’ election(Link)
December 16th, 2012
To make matters worse, the failure to implement a redrawing of the electoral district map based upon the +0/-5 solution means the election has been carried out using an electoral district map the Supreme Court finds unconstitutional. The Supreme Court on 28 November showed its traditional deference to the decisions of the legislative branch, a panel of the justices refusing, on procedural grounds, to halt the 16 December election. However, the Court has no qualms with lawsuits filed after the election. A crusading group of lawyers is ready to file lawsuits in 60 jurisdictions on 17 December, seeking to invalidate the election’s results.
And here, ad nauseum:
As to the issue of when the Hiroshima decision goes into effect...Justice Ikadatsu has given the Diet up to one calendar year from the first convening of the meetings of the commission on electoral boundaries (a commission under the umbrella of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Telecommunications) to come up with a plan meeting constitutional muster.
The commission met for the first time on November 26, 2012.
As to what "constitutional muster" means, both the Tokyo High Court and the Sapporo High Court found the egregious +0/-5 reform passed on the last day of the previous Diet's existence a risible solution contrary to the Supreme Court's intent.
Expect more trouble on this issue.