Measures of diet members and spatial transformations of political organizations with the introduction of the new electoral system: A case study of Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan

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Abstract

The electoral system of the House of Representatives in Japan was reformed in 1994 from a multimember constituency system to a new system, which combines a single-member constituency system and a proportional representation system. The purpose of this paper is to examine the spatial transformation that is occurring with regard to the organizations of Diet members to garner votes after introducing the new electoral system. Most assemblypersons have maintained their own person al support organizations from the former system after the introduction of the new system. This is because constituencies in the former system, which lasted for about 70 years, have a strong influence even at present on the awareness of assemblypersons and their supporters. It also indicates that even if supporters live outside the present constituency, they give various forms of support (not including voting) to assemblypersons during elections. However, assemblypersons in the Nagasaki third consti tuency are negative toward maintaining their former personal support organizations. This is due to the geographic condition that traffic access to the entire area is inconvenient. Moreover, for some assemblypersons who became members of the House of Councillors or the governor after being members of or candidates for the House of Representatives, it is difficult to establish personal support organizations that cover the entire prefecture. Accordingly, the spatial range of their organizations is limited to the former constituency. There are also some differences in these organizations between political parties. Assemblypersons of the ruling party can receive support not only from their own support organizations, but also from members of local assemblies and various local organizations supporting the ruling party. However, members of the conservative opposition party tend to depend on their former support organizations, as they cannot expect the support received by ruling party members. As mentioned above , assemblyperson's personal support organizations, which play important roles in the Japanese political system, are being transformed into spatially different forms due to the geographic situations in the constituencies, party affiliations, etc. over the 10 years since the 1994 electoral reform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-242
Number of pages15
JournalGeographical Review of Japan
Volume78
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2005

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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