Japan's Ruling Party Loses Majority

Loses grip on upper house, retains more powerful lower house
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 11, 2010 6:41 AM CDT
Japan's Ruling Party Loses Majority
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan, left, and his wife Nobuko pose for photo as they cast their votes for the upper house election at a polling station in Tokyo, Sunday, July 11, 2010.   ((AP Photo/Kyodo News))

(Newser) – Japanese media are projecting that the ruling Democrats lost seats in a parliamentary election, dealing a setback to the progressive party's 10-month old government. Public broadcaster NHK predicted that the Democratic Party of Japan won less than 50 contested seats in today's upper house election, down from 54 before the polls. Other TV stations put the DPJ at 47 to 48 seats.

The projected results mean that Prime Minister Naoto Kan's party will lose its 121-seat majority with its coalition partner in the 242-seat upper house. The election, in which half the seats in the upper house were up for grabs, won't directly affect the Democrats' grip on power because they control the more powerful lower house of parliament. Official results are not expected until tomorrow. (Read more Japan stories.)

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