Pro-amendment camp certain to lose 2/3 majority
Japan's ruling coalition appears set to maintain control of the Upper House following Sunday's election. But it looks like it fell short of maintaining a key threshold.
NHK's decision desk says the coalition and lawmakers in favor of amending the Constitution will not hold a two-thirds majority of the chamber.
NHK is certain that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, Komeito, will not return to the Diet with their pre-election strength.
Still, Abe says securing a majority of the seats that were up for grabs shows the public wants political stability.
And he says it gives him a mandate to push forward with his political and diplomatic agenda.
Abe said "Many said it would be extremely difficult to gain a majority when advocating tax hikes. But we have the public's understanding. This upper house election was not about winning two-thirds of the seats, it was about maintaining stability. We achieved that goal. We will now try and gain the support of two-thirds of lawmakers on the constitutional amendment through discussions at the Commission on the Constitution. We asked voters if they want discussions or not... and they gave us a majority. So we would like to have a thorough debate."
Meanwhile, the leader of the largest opposition, the Constitutional Democratic Party, is hoping to enhance cooperation among the opposition bloc, which is gaining strength.
Yukio Edano said "We'd like to strengthen cooperation among opposition parties even more, so in the next election we can try to become a governing force. A considerable amount of voters said no to tax hikes. So we'd like to have discussions in the Diet about the current economic situation. We want to talk about how to use tax revenue for social security, as well as the overall structure of the tax system. "
During the election campaign, candidates discussed a number of issues, including the consumption tax hike scheduled for October.
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