Japanese courts are stepping up pressure on the government to reform the country's electoral system or risk having the results of last year's general election invalidated.
Six regional high courts are to deliver rulings on Tuesday in so-called "one person, one vote" cases brought by constitutional activists. The Japanese electoral system gives voters in sparsely populated rural districts disproportionate power.
The courts could follow the lead of the Hiroshima high court, which on Monday became the first Japanese court to declare outright that the results of a parliamentary election should be discarded.
No politician will be forced to give up a parliamentary seat immediately as a result of the Hiroshima ruling, nor will the overall election result – a victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party – be nullified.
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The Hiroshima court said its ruling, which applies to two local electoral districts, would not take effect for seven months, giving the government time to appeal to the Supreme Court, move forward with planned electoral reforms, or both.