Abe’s rul­ing bloc set for solid up­per house win

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe’s rul­ing coali­tion is set to win a solid ma­jor­ity in an up­per house elec­tion later this week, keep­ing alive his dream to re­vise Ja­pan’s paci­fist con­sti­tu­tion, a sur­vey showed on Mon­day.

Abe’s Lib­eral Demo­cratic party (LDP) and its coali­tion part­ner Komeito to­gether are on track to win as many as 83 seats, well over the 63 seats needed for a ma­jor­ity of the 124 seats to be con­tested on Sun­day, the poll by the Nikkei busi­ness daily con­ducted late last week showed.

Sim­i­lar polls taken by other me­dia out­lets, in­clud­ing the Ky­odo news agency, showed sup­port for the LDP had in­creased to 31.0 per­cent of all re­spon­dents, up 2 per­cent­age points from a sim­i­lar poll last month. Sup­port for Komeito was un­changed at 5.6 per­cent.

Such a show­ing could en­able the rul­ing bloc and other smaller par­ties in­clud­ing the Ja­pan In­no­va­tion Party, which sup­port con­sti­tu­tional re­vi­sions, to main­tain their “su­per ma­jor­ity,” or two-thirds of the vote. Such a ma­jor­ity is needed to start the process of re­vis­ing Ja­pan’s post-world War II paci­fist con­sti­tu­tion.

Chang­ing the con­sti­tu­tion to en­shrine the role of Ja­pan’s mil­i­tary has been a long-held goal for Abe, who has been prime min­is­ter and leader of the LDP since 2012.

Con­sti­tu­tional re­vi­sions re­quire ap­proval by two-thirds of both cham­bers of par­lia­ment and a ma­jor­ity in a pub­lic ref­er­en­dum.

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