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LDP concerned about local election setbacks having negative impact on Upper House election

  • 2015-11-17 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: November 17, 2015 – p. 4)

 

 In the Fukushima prefectural assembly election conducted on Nov. 15, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost one of its seats and failed to reach its goal of winning a majority of the 58 seats. There is a view in the government and LDP that delays in the reconstruction of the prefecture from the Great East Japan Earthquake had an impact on the outcome of the election.

 

 Referring to the fact that an independent candidate endorsed by the LDP won a seat, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga did not budge from his positive stance at a press conference on Nov. 16, saying, “It is not that we were defeated.” However, the fact that the LDP failed to win a majority and four incumbent assembly members were defeated is sending shock waves through the LDP Fukushima chapter. The LDP also lost seats in the Miyagi prefectural assembly election in October. Some LDP lawmakers are concerned that “if the party continues to be defeated in local elections, it could have an impact on the House of Councillors election [next year].”

 

 The government and LDP intend to accelerate reconstruction work with an eye on the electoral districts that were devastated by the earthquake. Considering that a broad agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade talks could have a negative impact on local constituencies, the LDP places priority on measures for the TPP to be included in a supplementary budget.

 

 Meanwhile, the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan secured 15 seats, the same number as in the previous Fukushima prefectural election. DPJ President Katsuya Okada said: “The results shows that the people of Fukushima Prefecture do not approve of the Abe administration’s policies.” (Slightly abridged)

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