Japan’s ruling party and its allies won a “super majority” in senatorial elections just days after the assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, local media reported on Monday.
The Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, nationalist right) to which Shinzo Abe belonged, and his ally the Komeito, strengthened their position by winning more than 75 of the 125 seats to be filled in the Upper House, according to national media – the Senate has 248 seats, half of which are renewed every three years. They now have a two-thirds “super-majority” of the Senate ready to change the country’s pacifist constitution to strengthen its military role on the world stage, a longtime goal of Shinzo Abe.
“We will never give in to violence”
The participation rate was only 52%, according to the data available at this stage. “I think it is important that the elections were able to be held normally,” commented Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, adding that he would tackle the important ongoing issues, Covid, Ukraine and inflation. . Two days earlier, the head of government had denounced the “barbaric” attack against Shinzo Abe, his former mentor, insisting on the importance of “defending free and fair elections, which are the foundation of democracy”. “We will never give in to violence,” he added. The shooting assassination of Shinzo Abe, one of the country’s best-known politicians, in Nara, in the west, has deeply hurt and moved both in Japan and abroad, and messages of condolence have poured in. from all over the world, including from China and South Korea, with which Japan has often rocky relations.
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