Japan PM's Party Wins Control of Parliament
Abe's LDP controls both chambers for 1st time since '07
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 21, 2013 7:42 AM CDT
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe speaks during his Liberal Democratic Party's rally for upper house elections in Tokyo, Saturday, July 20, 2013.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(Newser) – Japanese broadcasters projected that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition won a majority of seats in the upper house of parliament in elections today, giving it control of both chambers for the first time in six years. The win is seen as an endorsement of Abe's economic program, which has helped spark a tentative recovery, and gives him a legislative mandate to pursue difficult economic reforms that he has promised to help sustain growth in the long run.

The victory in the elections, where half the seats in the 242-member upper house were up for grabs, offers hawkish Abe more leeway to advance nationalistic goals that could further strain testy relations with China and South Korea. It is a vindication for Abe, who lost upper house elections in 2007 during his previous stint as prime minister. Based on exit polls, public broadcaster NHK predicted that Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, New Komeito, won a combined 71 seats, giving them a total of 130 seats in the chamber, more than the 122 needed for a majority. "Obviously, the results so far shows that voters want a stable government," said LDP vice president Masahiko Komura said. "We will continue to push Abenomics steadily in order to live up to their expectations."

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Jul 21, 2013 11:17 PM CDT
aaaaaaand...they're screwed.
Jul 21, 2013 9:20 AM CDT
I should also mention that Abe's party is the LDP (the Liberal Democratic Party). The complaints about the LDP got so bad that Japanese voted the other party The DPJ (the Democratic Party of Japan) into power. The DPJ only complained but didn't really have a plan to address those complaints. The DPJ also didn't have any experience or ability to run the basic bureaucratic functions of government. So the people voted the LDP back into power. This is what they mean by a "stable" government. There are some truly strange things about Japanese politics. There is a layer of family tradition, organized corruption, even strange cult activity that people are afraid to talk about. I encourage anyone who is interested -- to read more about it.
Jul 21, 2013 9:09 AM CDT
Japan's greatest problem is lack of side-walks and guardrails on many streets. Opposition to side-walks say that the streets are narrow yet there are solid walls in front of many houses where side-walks should be built. Because there is little to no traffic enforcement, many pedestrians and bicyclists (children, mothers, fathers) die every year. Sometimes groups of children are hit and killed. Yet politicians don't even address this. This is why Japanese politics and politicians are absolutely worthless. They don't run for office because they want to change things for the better. They run because they are the children of famous politicians. Abenomics is known as the 3 arrow plan. One very good idea is to increase infrastructure construction and repair jobs. But the other ideas are not even worth talking about. 1 in every 6 Japanese college graduates can't find work. Some children in their 20's to 40's still live at home with their parents. One thing that is good about the Japanese economy is that companies still have a sense of loyalty to their employees and keep them employed with living wages. Many Japanese still get bonuses! But this keeps Japanese product prices high in global product price competition. A problem with Abenomics is that the tax burden has shifted to families and the lower middle class. Sales tax is still expected to rise to 10%. From this, I can give a fairly good economic prescription. 1st) Tear down the walls and build side-walks with guardrails on every Japanese street. 2nd) encourage companies to fire bad workers but make it the government's job to job-place all those fired workers in other work. Print money to pay them all if Japan has to. Hire everybody who wants to work. 3rd) Keep all wages at a living-wage and encourage a promotion system with higher wages. 4th) Use tariffs on imported things just enough to protect and meet living-wage standards and keep everyone employed.