Washington International Law Journal


Japan's Constitution does not expressly mandate periodic census and reapportionment of electoral districts. The Election Law only suggests reapportionment. Consequently, rapid population shifts in postwar Japan created endemic voter imbalances. The Japanese Supreme Court has made some attempts to prod the national parliament to take ameliorative action, but the result has always been "too little, too late." Nevertheless, the evidence shows that the parliament does heed the Court's decisions. This Comment urges the Court to tighten the three to one ratio it has developed for allowable voter imbalances to two to one or better, and to abandon doctrines like the "reasonable period" that postpone declarations of unconstitutionality and subsequent legislative action.

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