Japan’s ruling LDP wins thumping majority in trust vote for PM Kishida

Tokyo, Nov 1 (EFE).- The ruling Liberal Democratic Party Monday maintained its strong grip over the lower house of the Japanese parliament, marking the fourth consecutive term for the conservative group, but with fewer seats than it held previously.

In his victory speech, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the electoral victory demonstrated the “will of the people to task my government with shaping the future of this country.”

According to the latest poll results held on Sunday, Kishida’s LDP won 261 seats in the 465-member house, securing an absolute majority well over the halfway mark of 233.

He said the Japanese had rallied behind his idea of “a new capitalism,” focused on economic growth and powered by increases in wages for workers.

The prime minister pledged that the government would draw up an economic stimulus package by mid-November.

“We will do everything possible to increase the salaries of workers, so that all people benefit from the fruits of economic growth,” Kishida, 64, told reporters.

The prime minister, likely to be sworn in again next week, said he would start revitalizing the Japanese economy through “new capitalism.”

Kishida has been talking about his economic strategy to combine post-pandemic growth and a better redistribution of wealth but has not explained the finer details of the idea.

During his election campaign, he promised to strengthen economic growth and redistribute the spoils to the middle class under his vision.

The country is going through a long deflationary cycle. Inequalities have widened due to the health crisis.

The average income of Japanese households has remained stagnant during the last decade, according to government data.

The Bank of Japan forecasts that the Japanese economy will advance by 3.4 percent in the current fiscal year, ending April 2022, after the 4.6 percent in the previous year.

Riding high on the electoral success, the ruling party has guaranteed itself a fourth consecutive four-year term with its coalition partner, the Buddhist Komeito party, which has gone from 29 seats in 2017 to 32, adding a total of 293 seats between the two.

With a brute parliamentary majority, the LDP will chair and hold half of the seats on all standing committees of the parliament to ram through legislation.

However, it has won 15 less as compared to 2017.

The ruling party received a setback as its No.2, Amari Akira, suffered a setback in his single-seat constituency in the general election.

The LDP secretary-general is projected to secure a parliamentary seat through proportional representation, but he has conveyed his intention to Kishida to resign from his post.

Amari oversaw the LDP’s election campaign.

Kishida dissolved the lower house only ten days after taking office on Oct.4 and brought the polls forward rather than wait until early November.

His predecessor Yoshihide Suga resigned as the country struggled with its worst wave of coronavirus infections.

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