Japan election: Shinzo Abe and LDP in sweeping win - exit poll

 
Shinzo Abe on the campaign trail last week Shinzo Abe looks set to be reappointed as prime minister five years after he resigned

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The conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Shinzo Abe has won the Japanese election, exit polls predict.

The LDP, which enjoyed almost 50 years of unbroken rule until 2009, is projected to have an overall majority in the new parliament.

Mr Abe has already served a Japan's Prime Minister between 2006 and 2007.

He campaigned on a pledge to end 20 years of economic stagnation and to direct a more assertive foreign policy at a time of tensions with China.

He is seen as a hawkish, right-of-centre leader whose previous term in office ended ignominiously amid falling popularity and a resignation on grounds of ill health.

But Japanese media project big gains for his LDP who they say are on course to win between 275 to 310 seats in the 480-member house.

Its ally, the small New Komeito party, looks set to win about 30 seats to possibly give the alliance a two-thirds majority in the lower house.

That would give Mr Abe the power to over-rule parliament's upper house and help to break a deadlock that some say has plagued the world's third biggest economy since 2007.

The BBC's Rupert Wingfield Hayes says as many predicted, Japan has taken a sharp turn to the right.

The LDP Secretary-General, Shigeru Ishiba, puts the party's first rosette by a success candidate's name at party headquarters in Tokyo The LDP celebrate their first win on election night

The big losers from the election were the outgoing prime minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Democratic Party (DPJ) which is forecast to win between 55 and 77 seats.

A party spokesman told Japan's NHK television Mr Noda would have to resign over the defeat, in which some of the party's leading figures are projected to have lost their seats.

The DPJ has struggled since coming to power in 2009. Two prime ministers came and went before Mr Noda as the party struggled to deliver amid the economic downturn and 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Mr Noda lost over his move to double sales tax, something he said was necessary to tackle Japan's massive debt.

'Abenomics'

By contrast, Mr Abe has promised more public spending, looser monetary policy, and to allow nuclear energy a role to play in resource-poor Japan's future despite last year's nuclear disaster at Fukushima.

Japan-China disputed islands

  • The archipelago consists of five islands and three reefs
  • Japan, China and Taiwan claim them; they are controlled by Japan and form part of Okinawa prefecture
  • Japanese businessman Kunioki Kurihara owned three of the islands but sold them to the Japanese state in September
  • The islands were also the focus of a major diplomatic row between Japan and China in 2010

But economists say there is little new in Mr Abe's policies, or 'Abenomics' as they have been called. They have been adopted by previous LDP governments without successfully renewing the Japanese economy.

Mr Abe has also called for a tough stance on a territorial row with China over islands in the East China Sea that both countries claim.

But neither of the main parties fully convinced voters. Several new parties contested the poll and the right-leaning Japan Restoration Party founded by the mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto. could win as many as 50 seats.

And the nationalist former governor of Tokyo governor, Shintaro Ishihara, whose bid to buy disputed islands provoked a fierce diplomatic showdown with China, may also have won a seat in parliament according to Japanese media.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 59.

    /// Batgirlie
    Old Tories, Churchill, McMillan, Heath, now seem relatively left wing.
    Japan's elections are important, but why is it the only topic open for comment?//
    The real question is, why don't the BBC report more on countries like Korea and Japan?
    And listening to many on the left, it is clear that they are the actual authoritarians. The Tories are crap, Labour are lethal.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 58.

    North Korea developing nukes. China re-building it's forces and laying claim to anything it may have once owned. If I were Japanses I would want the constitution changing to allow them to defend themselves also.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 57.

    Japan isn't moving into the centre, it's moving from centre to right. After years of Murdoch et al. we accept hard-right sham democracy as normal, as Pravda did for the hard left.
    Old Tories, Churchill, McMillan, Heath, now seem relatively left wing.
    Japan's elections are important, but why is it the only topic open for comment?

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 54.

    French [Socialist] President Francois Hollande said: "There is no doubt today about the integrity of the eurozone - Europe cannot now be taken by surprise."

    That with an unemployment in EZ being on average @ 25%.

    And eurozone going deeper&deeper into a recession.

    And you folks want to advise Japan???! :-)

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 53.

    In comparison to the British electorate, Japanese voters seem to have very short memories. While many British voters will not vote Conservative because of what Thatcher did 30 years ago or will not vote Labour because of the Winter of Discontent, here in Japan people will rally around any personality who distinguishes themselves from the government of the day simply by not being that government.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 52.

    Re #30 De_Jure"" There are historical documents in which China acknowledged Japan's sovereignty - but now China refuses to go on int'l courts because they know they have to relinquish pressure."
    +++



    I won't even mention Tibet and Muslim Turkic Uighuria (E. Turkestan)occupied for half a century by Beijing.

    But what about historically Japanese KURIL Islands occupied by Russia since 1945?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 51.

    In my opinion, Japan's should seek strategic partnership with China. I understand that the two nations have a bloody history. But if France and Germany can put their violent history behind, then so can China and Japan.
    Both nations have highly educated human resources. Both are leading nations in science and technology. It would be tragedy for both to fight over a wee rock.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 50.

    "The Japanese are pacifists. The US control Japan's defence which opens the country to manipulation especially with inept politicians. They have only proposed to be able to defend themselves."
    ++++



    Japan is rearming itself in view of a growing Chinese expansionism.

    And that U$A will not deny it any military technologies needed to effectively defend itself.

    capisce?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 49.

    Good Japan needs a strong foriegn policy against china and the U.S needs a strong allie in that part of the world

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 48.

    Its a demorcacy - if he wins then fair enough. That's what their people want. Stop whining about it.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 47.

    With Shinzo Abe as the new Prime Minister it seems that soon Japan will vigorously re-arm to defend itself against China's desire to control Western Pacific Ocean. Thus those two countries are now on a collision course. China's current military expansion is comparable to Japan's before-the-second-world-war one. Is it a bad "interactive karma" between those countries?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 46.

    " PRC can get what it needs from Taiwan and Korea."


    Communist/totalitarian China facing major problems; from a catastrophic pollution, through uprisings in PRC-occupied Uighuria nad Tibet, to a unsustainable (for a country 1.4 bilion mouths to feed) economic slowdown from 12% to merely 7%.

    [PRC economy being export based.]

    And you expect a miracle, "comrades"?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 45.

    I'm wondering just how niche the only active thread could be.....must be the cutbacks I suppose.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 44.

    Honest Abe

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 43.

    "Under d nose of American occupying force,Japan rearm itself "
    ++++




    American occupation of Japan ended decades ago. With gen. McArthur considered a hero by millions of older Japanese (cf. his monument) saved from an obliteration.

    With such sick comments supplied by citizens of West European ruined countries helped by US unrefunded aid.

    [ no, Marshall Plan not being a loan]

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 42.

    Voting back in a previously failed Prime Minister is hardly the mark of a confident future looking nation. It smacks more of desperation.
    Getting tough with PRC simply means being isolated from worlds largest and fastest growing market: big Corporations already badly hurting. In short - getting tough is only tough on Japan, PRC can get what it needs from Taiwan and Korea!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 41.

    deploring "Japan need to built strong military,warship,to protect there island."

    Impressively, this current has a rating of +4 while my comment about mindless nationalism is the lowest rated...

    I rest my case.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 40.

    Aaah I see the paranoids are emerging from their bunkers ....DEFCON 4.5 an' all that stuff......Caboooooommmm.

 

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