Japan’s ruling coalition projected to retain majority
(Update 1: releads, alters headline, adds exit polls, stabbing incident)
Tokyo, Oct 31 (EFE).- Japan’s ruling coalition will hold onto its majority in the 465-seat lower house of the parliament, projections by the state-run NHK TV channel revealed after polls closed in Sunday’s general elections.
Prime minister Fumio Kishida’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party is projected to win between 212 and 253 seats, while its partner the Buddhist formation Komeito would get between 27 and 35.
The lower house is the most powerful legislative organ of Japan, and the party or coalition that secures a majority is able to elect the prime minister, approve state budgets and ratify international agreements, among other powers.
The conservatives, who have ruled Japan since 1995 almost without interruption, will see their seats drop compared to the recently concluded legislature, the exit polls show.
The ruling coalition enjoyed a comfortable majority in the recently concluded legislature, having 276 and 29 seats respectively.
The main opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the other four forces that run as a bloc are expected to increase their seats, although without threatening the dominance of the ruling coalition.
Meanwhile at least one person was in a serious condition after 15 people were injured in a knife and arson attack on a Tokyo train line as polling centers were closing on Sunday evening.
A 20-year-old male suspect has been arrested, while the injured were receiving medical care, according to local media. EFE