As Japan’s general election wound down on Sunday, it was more than obvious the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) would win control of the Lower House by a large margin. The LDP, along with its coalition partner, New Komeito, won over two-thirds of the 480 seats, regaining power for the first time since 2009, in what most have dubbed a landslide victory. Now party leader, Shinzo Abe, will be named prime minister once more, after holding the position for one year in 2006, becoming Japan’s seventh premier in as little as six years.
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was dealt a huge loss, winning only a quarter of the Lower House seats it held before the election. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who was forced to make the call for the election in exchange for cooperation from the LDP on a series of reform bills, will step down not only as premier, but also as leader of the DPJ in order to take responsibility for the party’s loss. The DPJ lawmakers in bother the upper and lower houses will decide on a new party leader later this month.
The LDP won a total of 294 seats, and with the New Komeito, the alliance has 325 seats, more than the two-thirds needed that gives the Lower House the power to pass bills rejected by the Upper House. Abe has become the first Japanese leader to return to the seat of prime minister since 1948, when Shigeru Yoshida won. Abe has pledged to focus on Japan’s declining economy, strengthening the country’s alliance with the U.S., and increasing Japan’s own military forces.