Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to call a sudden election has paid off with his ruling coalition winning more than two-thirds of Parliament’s 465 seats. This victory puts him on course to be the longest ever serving prime minister in post-war Japan.
Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition won a combined 312 seats, keeping its two-thirds supermajority in the 465 members lower house.
A strong win raises the likelihood that Abe, who took office in December 2012, will secure a third three-year term as LDP leader next September and go on to become Japan’s longest-serving premier. It also means his “Abenomics” growth strategy centred on the hyper-easy monetary policy will likely continue.
The US-drafted constitution’s Article 9, if taken literally, bans the maintenance of armed forces. But Japanese governments have interpreted it to allow a military exclusively for self-defence. It is thought that it would codify the status quo. According to his critics, it would allow an expanded role overseas for the military.
Abe also mentioned in his campaigning speech that rather sticking to his plans for 2020, he would encourage and deepen debate and would like to include as many people as possible to inculcate citizens status over the plans. It has been found out that the LDP’s junior partner, the Kometio, is cautious about changing the Constitution drawn up by after Japan’s defeat in the II World War. Japan may be able to meet a target for nuclear energy to provide about one-fifth of the country’s electricity by 2030 as public acceptance may be improving and Abe soon restores public’s confidence and acceptance for the same.
The Constitution will be the most important political issue and pro-constitutional change parties occupy more than two-thirds of the parliament as amendments must be approved by two-thirds of each chamber of Parliament and then by a majority in a public referendum. Such referendums are tricky.
Abe has declared that he needed a new mandate to tackle a national crisis from North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats and a fast-ageing population and to approve his idea of diverting revenue from a planned sales tax hike to education and child care from public debt repayment.
India’s response –
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on his re-election and mentioned that he would look further to strengthen the relations between the two countries. Modi and Abe share a great relationship and have met several times over the last three years.