Today is election day in my prefecture. The election is being held to fill a seat vacated by former Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki, who died in December at the age of 72.
The interesting thing is that there are two candidates with the same names and the same kanji characters, 田中健. Ken Tanaka, 42, is endorsed by four parties - the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party. Ken Tanaka, 54, is from the NHK Kara Kokumin wo Mamaoru To (The Party to Protect the People from NHK). Other candidates include Yoichi Fukazawa, 43, of the Liberal Democratic Party and independent Kenzo Yamaguchi, 72.
In Japan, voters hand write the name of the candidate they are voting for on the ballot. To distinguish between the two Ken Tanakas, the election board is asking voters to write the age as well as the name of the candidates.