Campaigning for Lower House election begins
NHK -- Oct 10
Political candidates and party officials across Japan are filing paperwork and launching their campaigns for the Lower House election scheduled for October 22nd.

Party candidates and independents are going after the 465 seats in the Lower House. 289 lawmakers will be elected directly and 176 through a system of proportional representation.

The threshold for a majority is 233 seats. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said if his ruling coalition doesn't reach that, he'll step down.

Abe's Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and its coalition partner Komeito are facing stiff competition from a divided opposition. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has formed a party called Hope which is collaborating with Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party.

And another upstart, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan is working together with the Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party of Japan.

The largest opposition party effectively split. Most of its members will be running under Hope, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, or as independents.

Candidates are debating issues like the performance of the Abe administration, a consumption tax hike the government has scheduled for 2019, and amending the Constitution.

News source: NHK
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