Japan Election Results Spell Big Trouble for PM

Party loses majority in upper house; Abe insists he won't resign
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2007 8:46 AM CDT
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses supporters from the top of a campaign vehicle during a final day of stumping tour for Sunday's upper house election in Tokyo Saturday, July 28, 2007. Abe has...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Shinzo Abe's scandal-plagued administration suffered a possible death blow today as his coalition lost its majority in the upper house of the Japanese parliament, but the beleaguered PM vowed to remain on the job. Although Abe's Liberal Democratic Party dominates the lower chamber, the opposition can stall legislation in the upper house, effectively freezing the government, Reuters reports.

In just 10 months in office, Abe has improved relations with South Korea and China but has drawn widespread criticism for emphasizing constitutional reform over everyday issues of greater concern to voters. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan, led by an LDP defector, capitalized on the dissatisfaction to create a result an LDP official called a "complete defeat."