Foreigner vote not reciprocal

The Democratic Party of Japan is likely to give local election voting rights to foreigners with permanent residence status and who are from countries or regions with diplomatic links or other ties to Japan, sources said Monday.

They include South Korea, which has diplomatic ties, and Taiwan, which lacks diplomatic links but has a strong working relationship with Japan, they said. The ruling party may submit the relevant bill in the current extraordinary Diet session, they said.

The bill will not take the so-called reciprocal approach of granting voting rights to long-term foreign residents on the basis of whether their countries confer similar privileges on Japanese citizens, they said.