‘Abe nears two-thirds majority in election’
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition is heading for a two-thirds majority in Japan’s forthcoming election, surveys suggested today, as a new party founded by popular Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike runs out of steam.
Abe’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior coalition partner Komeito are likely to win around 300 of 465 seats in the October 22 election, according to polls by Kyodo News and the Nikkei business daily.
Mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun said the LDP could secure a stable majority on its own, without needing its coalition partner.
A two-thirds majority in parliament would allow Abe to push through an amendment to Japan’s pacifist constitution.
The premier has called for changes to the US- imposed law so it can turn its self-defence forces into a full-fledged army. Support for Koike’s newly founded Party of Hope, which has transformed Japan’s political landscape and swallowed up the opposition Democratic Party, appears to be deflating, with surveys predicting it might win around 60 seats. A new centre-left grouping of DP members that did not jump on the Tokyo governor’s bandwagon could clinch 40 seats.