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For Japan’s Abe, Election Victory Is the Easy Part

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) swept this past weekend’s House of Councillors elections. Although it was unable to secure a two-thirds majority, the LDP won 65 seats of those contested, which, along with the 11 seats gained by its coalition partner the New Komeito, means the ruling party now holds 135 seats in the 242-seat upper house of parliament.

This is good news for Abe. With a majority already in the lower house, the LDP win at the polls eliminates Japan’s “twisted Diet” and provides Abe an opportunity to advance his political agenda. Yet Abe should not expect an easy road, due to the issues he has chosen to tackle and the consequences they may have on his standing in the party. ...

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