After his party won Japan’s general elections on Sunday, Liberal Democratic Party head Shinzo Abe stressed that there will be much and difficult work to be done to lift the country out of its economic woes and improve its national security in the face of squabbles with China.
The LDP, which has dominated Japan ever since the end of World War II until it was displaced by the Democratic Party of Japan in 2009, won 294 out of the 480 seats in the Lower House. Abe is seen likely to become the next prime minister, after having served in the position for only a year from 2006 to 2007, as the LDP, together with long-time ally New Komeito party, controls 325 seats. Abe will likely focus on lobbying for stronger action from the central bank to combat deflation and on improving the country’s national security and armed forces, amid growing tensions with China over a territorial dispute. Abe said that the party’s victory was more a reflection of the people’s dissatisfaction with the status quo rather than an endorsement of the LDP’s platform.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced his resignation from office after his party failed to gain the majority of seats in parliament, winning only 57 spots. He acknowledged his party’s failure to live up to the high expectations of the Japanese people. The newly formed Japan Restoration Party, led by hawkish former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara and popular Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto lived up to their goal of becoming a third force, winning 54 seats. Meanwhile, Yukiko Kada of the anti-nuclear Tomorrow Party, who only won nine seats, expressed dismay at the victory of the pro-nuclear LDP.
[ via The Republic ]