1994 Electoral Reform in Japan: Background, Process, and Impact on Governance and Public Policy
The causes and processes of Japan’s 1994 electoral system reform and its consequences.
In Japan, four bills concerning electoral reform were passed in 1994, which finally changed the Japanese political landscape dramatically. In this section, the background of this reform, the process of the enactment of the laws, and the impact of the reform on governance and public policy will be discussed.
In the first part of the section, outline of the features of Japanese politics before the electoral reform is presented. Japan has adopted the single nontransferable vote multimember district (SNTV-MMD) system with moderate district magnitudes since 1925. SNTV-MMD, Chusenkyokuin Japanese, is the system where typically three to six seats were assigned to a district. Voters cast their vote by handwriting the name of one candidate. The candidates were ranked by the votes they got and...
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