Media polls have indicated that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc is expected to keep the majority. Mr Abe hopes to gain enough seats to boost chances for a constitutional revision, his long-cherished goal before his term ends in 2021.
His ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, will need a two-thirds majority to be able to begin the process of revising Article 9 of the constitution that will further legitimise the military. Meanwhile, the opposition parties have focused on concerns over household finances, such as the impact from an upcoming 10 per cent sales tax increase and strains on the public pension system amid an ageing population.
The Upper House has a total of 245 seats about half of which are elected every three years.