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Party leaders comment on outcome of Upper House election

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Liberal Democratic Party president): I am relieved that the ruling parties were able to win a majority of the seats being contested (61). I would like to put in place a new team to implement economic policies vigorously. I will discuss (a timetable) with the ruling parties.


Democratic Party (DP) leader Katsuya Okada: We were aiming at winning a majority of the seats, but unfortunately, we were not successful. I take responsibility as the party leader. My term of office is until September, so I will work hard until then. I have not made any decisions on what to do after that.


DP Secretary General Yukio Edano: We have become a force to reckon with by fielding one single candidate (for the four opposition parties). This strategy has been effective to a certain extent.


Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi: The common opposition candidates had conflicting policies and visions for administration despite their claiming to be unified candidates. The voters saw through this makeshift alliance for the sake of the election.


Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii: The ruling parties did not talk about the constitution during the campaign. The outcome of the election does not mean that they have been given a vote of confidence on constitutional revision. Constitutional amendment under the Shinzo Abe administration is unacceptable.


Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai) leader Ichiro Matsui: It is premature (to amend Article 9 of the constitution). There has been absolutely no enthusiasm for this.


Social Democratic Party leader Tadatomo Yoshida: (The opposition united front) was effective to a certain extent. This strategy must be carried over to the next House of Representatives election.


People’s Life Party leader Ichiro Ozawa: The opposition parties cannot win in elections if they don’t cooperate closely. I think the trend is toward a grand alliance of the opposition parties.

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