Early voting starts for Oct. 22 general election

From NHK

Voters across Japan began casting their ballots on Wednesday in the early voting system for the general election scheduled for October 22nd.

The official campaign for the election kicked off on Tuesday.

At a polling station inside the municipal office of Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture in western Japan, voters were casting their ballots after writing down the reasons why they cannot vote on the voting day.

The upcoming election will be the first held on a nationwide scale since those aged 18 and 19 became eligible to vote. Because of this, polling stations for early voting have been set up inside some universities and high schools.

More than 13 million voters, or about 12.65 percent of the total, cast ballots in early voting in the previous general election in December 2014.

Early voting stations will be open until October 21st, a day before the voting day.

Japanese nationals living abroad have begun voting in the Lower House election.

Ballot stations are set up at 223 locations outside the country, including embassies and consulates.

About 101,000 Japanese are registered to vote overseas.

They can vote in the constituency where they last lived, as well as in the proportional representation segment.

Voting at Japan's embassy in the South Korean capital, Seoul, began on Wednesday morning. About 2,500 Japanese are registered there to vote.

The period of voting varies by region, but all voting ends next Monday.

Embassy officials will bring the ballots back to Japan to be counted on election day, October 22nd.

The election will be contested mainly among 3 camps -- the former ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic and Komeito parties, one comprising the party of Hope and Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party, and a camp of the Japanese Communist, the Constitutional Democratic and Social Democratic parties.





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