Shinzo Abe wins solid majority in Japanese upper house

Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition has recorded a landslide win in Japan’s upper house election, signalling widespread support for aggressive plans to revive the economy.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner Komeito are now in control of 135 of the 242 seats in the upper house, after winning 76 of the 121 seats contested this time around. The results come as a huge blow for the country’s main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, which won a meagre 59 seats.

Shares in Tokyo climbed 1.2% after the election victory was announced, which many believe to be a vote of confidence for the aggressive economic policy known as "Abenomics". The three-prong approach focuses on monetary policy, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms to ensure long-term sustainable growth in the world's third-largest economy, and has so far been successful in adding some life into a tentative recovery.

"We've won the public's support for decisive and stable politics so that we can pursue our economic policies, and we will make sure to live up to the expectations," Mr Abe told public broadcaster NHK after he was projected to win. "If we retreat from reforms and return to the old Liberal Democratic Party, we will lose the confidence of the people," he added.

Although LDP remains short of a majority on its own, the win raises the chances of a long-term Japanese leader for the first time since the reformist Junichiro Koizumi's rare five-year term ended in 2006. It also ends a parliamentary deadlock that began in 2007 after Abe’s party suffered a humiliating upper house defeat that later forced him to resign.

If you would like to know more about the Prime Minister’s economic agenda or what the upper house victory means for the future of the Japanese economy, our local staff can demystify ramifications for businesses. Contact our Tokyo office to discuss what this means for your business.

 
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