TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The following is an explanation of how members of Japan's House of Representatives are elected in the Oct. 31 general election.
The number of lower house seats is 465, and 289 are elected from single-seat districts and the remaining 176 through proportional representation in 11 regional blocks.
Each voter casts two ballots at a polling station -- one to choose a candidate in a single-seat constituency and the other to select a party for proportional representation.
A candidate who runs in a single-seat district can also appear in the candidate list of the proportional representation system.
Even if such a candidate loses in the constituency, he or she could still secure a seat by the proportional representation vote, if the candidate's party wins enough votes, in what is known as a consolation round.
Political parties and groups, which have five or more Diet members or gained 2 percent or more of the total valid votes in the previous national election, can submit lists of their candidates for the proportional representation vote beforehand and will be given seats in line with their share of regional block votes.
They will then grant the block seats to candidates based on the order in which the lists are drawn up.