New Delhi: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has secured over two-thirds majority in the lower house of Parliament. The party won at least 312 seats in the 465-member House along with a small coalition partner the Komeito.
Opinion polls had already indicated that Abe’s ruling coalition will retain its two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament.
LDP already holds a majority in upper house and with this thumping win the ruling coalition gets a free reign to pass legislation in the country. Japan recorded 54 per cent voter turnout yesterday, as Typhoon Lan battered the country.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had officially announced his intention to dissolve the lower house for a snap election in September to seek a fresh mandate to overcome “a national crisis”.
This win will extend his premiership for another three years till 2021 and he is also going to be Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister. Analysts believe that with this win he would move swiftly to try to revise Japan’s post-war, pacifist constitution.
Amending the Constitution requires the support of two-thirds of both houses of Parliament.
Even with the votes he needs in Parliament, Mr. Abe now needs to persuade the public as the opinion is divided and any constitutional change needs to be approved by a majority of voters. According to polls, the voters are split on whether they would approve such a measure.
Abe has stated that he will reach out to opposition parties supportive of constitutional revision.
North Korea is another headache for the ruling party and Mr. Abe.
“We can no longer let ourselves be fooled by North Korea. We cannot succumb to its threats. By taking advantage of our strong diplomacy, we have to make sure the North will have no other option but (to) change its policy and return to the negotiating table,” Abe told supporters waving Rising Sun flags at a rally at Akihabara station on Saturday.
Abe added he will work in lockstep with U.S. President Donald Trump to continue to “maximize pressure” on the regime.