Ruling Japan parties win local government polls
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition on Sunday won local elections seen as a referendum on his efforts to boost the economy before upper house elections next year, news reports said.
Candidates backed by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and junior coalition partner Komeito were elected in all of the 10 gubernatorial polls held on Sunday across the nation, according to public broadcaster NHK and other reports.
Other polls to elect five mayors as well as local assembly members were also held nationwide in the first set of two rounds of local elections. The second set will be held on April 26.
“It was a great achievement,” Toshimitsu Motegi, chief of the LDP’s election bureau, told reporters after exit polls indicating the coalition victory were released by local media. Motegi said the triumph was largely due to voters’ high expectations of efforts made by the ruling coalition to revive local economies. “The impact of Abenomics has finally emerged,” LDP secretary-general Sadakazu Tanigaki told voters earlier in the northern city of Sapporo. “The theme of these local elections is to capitalize on the impact across the nation,” said Tanigaki.
The victorious coalition-backed candidates included two pro-nuclear politicians. They won gubernatorial polls in Fukui and Shimane in central and western Japan respectively, both of which host nuclear power plants.