This weekend’s victory by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was the will of the people, said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday, despite an election that saw his party’s hold on the legislature weaken.
The centre-right LDP took 259 seats in the 465-seat Diet, according to the latest results. That is 17 seats fewer than it had in the last legislative period. In conjunction with its smaller coalition partner Komeito, it will control 291 seats, giving it a comfortable majority.
The outcome means the LDP can continue its nearly 60 years of unbroken power in the country. Although it is losing popularity with voters, many don’t see a viable opposition alternative.
The lack of enthusiasm for the candidates was highlighted by the fact that only 55 per cent turned out to vote, only slightly more than at the last elections.
Nor did disinterest in the LDP benefit the opposition socially democratic Constitutional Democratic Party. Despite efforts to work in cooperation with the communists and make the election competitive, it lost 14 seats and will now be in the legislature with 96 people.
However, conservative opposition group Japan Innovation Party almost quadrupled its number of seats to 41, by presenting itself as a conservative alternative to the LDP, with which it agrees on multiple issues.