Ruling bloc wins landslide in upper house election
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition won a landslide victory on Sunday in an election for parliament’s upper house, despite concerns about his economic policies and plans to revise the nation’s post-war pacifist constitution for the first time.
Media projections showed Abe’s coalition and like-minded parties had won the two-thirds “super majority” needed to try to revise the constitution’s restraints on the military, a step that could strain ties with China, where memories of Japan’s past militarism run deep.
Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) also won a simple majority for the first time since 1989, projections showed. That victory will bolster Abe’s grip over the conservative party that he led back to power in 2012 promising to reboot the economy with hyper-easy monetary policy, fiscal spending and reforms.
A push to ease the constitution’s constraints on the military operating overseas could lead to tension with China, where memories of Japan’s past militarism still arouse anger.