Rul­ing bloc wins land­slide in up­per house elec­tion

Daily Trust - - STRANGE STORIES -

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.

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