Japan votes for upper house, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling party seen as favourite

There are 245 seats in Japan's upper house, about half of which are elected every three years.

Published: 22nd July 2019 12:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2019 12:53 PM   |  A+A-

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (File | AP)


TOKYO: Japanese were voting Sunday in an election for the upper house of parliament, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc is expected to keep the majority.

Up for grabs are 124 seats in the less powerful of Japan's two chambers that doesn't choose the prime minister.

There are 245 seats in the upper house, about half of which are elected every three years.

ALSO READ: Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc on course to win majority in Japan election

Media polls have indicated Abe's ruling bloc is expected to keep the majority as most voters consider it as a safer choice over an opposition with uncertain track records.

Opposition parties have focused on concerns over household finances, such as the impact from an upcoming 10% sales tax increase and strains on the public pension system amid an aging population.

Abe has led his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to five consecutive parliamentary election victories since 2012.

ALSO READ: Final hours of voting in race to become Britain's next Prime Minister

Abe has prioritized revitalizing Japan's economy and has steadily bolstered the country's defenses in the backdrop of North Korea's missile and nuclear threats and China's growing military presence.

He has also showcased his diplomatic skills by cultivating warm ties with President Donald Trump.

Abe hopes to gain enough seats to boost chances for a constitutional revision, his long-cherished goal before his term ends in 2021.

But Abe and his conservative backers also face challenges because voters seem more concerned about their jobs, the economy and social security.

In order to secure two-thirds in the upper house, Abe's ruling bloc and supporters need 85 seats.

Media surveys have indicated that Abe's LDP and its partner Komei are expected to win a majority but are less certain to secure a supermajority.

The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and three other liberal-leaning parties teamed up in some districts.

They have also stressed support for gender equality and LGBT issues, the areas Abe's ultra-conservative lawmakers are reluctant to back.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp