Kishida ‘accepts’ ruling party’s by-election defeat ahead of national polls

Tokyo, Oct 25 (EFE).- Japan’s prime minister said Monday that he accepts his ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s unexpected defeat in one of two parliamentary by-elections held just a week out from the country’s general election.

The LDP, led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, lost in Shizuoka prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, in one of the races for vacant seats held on Sunday.

Shinnosuke Yamazaki, an independent candidate backed by the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) emerged victorious in a close race with the LDP candidate, Yohei Wakabayashi.

However, the ruling party won the upper chamber seat in another prefecture, Yamaguchi.

“We won people’s confidence in Yamaguchi, but saw a disappointing result in Shizuoka. I would like to solemnly accept the judgment of people in (Shizuoka),” Kishida told reporters on Monday.

The LDP leader attributed the outcome to “an accumulation of various factors” and said the party will “thoroughly analyze” the result and continue its efforts towards the upcoming general election.

The conservative LDP and its coalition partner, the Buddhist Komeito, hold the majority of the 245 seats of the upper chamber of parliament.

The results in Shizuoka have caused concern in the LDP and raised the hopes of the country’s main opposition forces, who are contesting as a bloc in the elections for the lower chamber, the most important legislative body of the country, scheduled for Oct. 31.

CDPJ’s acting leader Kenji Eda said that the win in Shizuoka will give the opposition “a boost going into the lower house election.”

“Prime Minister Kishida will not be the face of the election,” he added.

The latest polls give a clear advantage to the coalition formed by the LDP and Komeito in the national polls, although they also suggest that both parties will see the majority they held in the recently dissolved lower chamber reduced. EFE


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