Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

Ruling coalition wins two-thirds of seats in lower house election

2017 House of Representatives election seat count
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe places a flower next to the name of a Liberal Democratic Party candidate assured of victory in the Oct. 22 House of Representatives election, at the party's headquarters in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on the evening of Oct. 22, 2017. (Mainichi)

The ruling coalition scored a resounding victory in the House of Representatives election on Oct. 22, securing a two-thirds majority in the powerful chamber of the Diet.

Early on Monday, it was reported that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito had secured at least 310 seats, two-thirds of the 465 seats up for grabs in the lower house and enough to initiate constitutional revisions in the chamber.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had set the victory-or-defeat line for the governing bloc at 233 seats, a simple majority.

Abe is set to be re-elected as prime minister at a special Diet session to be convened on Nov. 1, and launch his fourth Cabinet later in the day.

The total number of seats in the powerful chamber has been cut by 10 since the previous election -- six in the nation's single-seat constituencies and four in the proportional representation blocs -- as part of the Diet's efforts to rectify vote value disparity between the nation's most and least densely populated electoral districts.

In the election, the LDP dominated single-seat constituencies in Aomori, Akita, Yamagata, Gunma, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Tottori, Shimane, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, Kumamoto, Oita and Miyazaki, among other prefectures.

The LDP announced that it has officially endorsed three candidates who won in the general election as independents.

Komeito fielded candidates in nine single-seat electoral districts and aimed to have all of them win, but one of them, Isamu Ueda, who ran in the Kanagawa No. 6 constituency, lost his seat.

The newly established conservative opposition Party of Hope failed to perform as strongly as it had hoped. This is largely because its leader, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, came under fire for declaring that her party would reject members of the opposition Democratic Party who cannot support the new party's basic policies, such as constitutional revisions.

Despite its setback, Koike told reporters in Paris where she is staying on a business trip that she would stay on as party leader. "I'd like to continue to take responsibility for the party management," she said.

However, some within the party are calling to hold Koike responsible for the party's poor showing in the election.

In contrast, the newly founded liberal Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), which fielded many former DP members shunned by Koike's party, made a strong showing, increasing its strength from 15 legislators before the election to at least 50.

The Japanese Communist Party (JCP), which withdrew many of its candidates in single-seat districts as part of its election cooperation with the CDP, struggled in the election.

The Social Democratic Party, which also cooperated with the CDP and the JCP, managed to secure one seat in a single-seat constituency, and aims to win another through the proportional representation system.

The Party for Japanese Kokoro is unlikely to win a seat.

Also in The Mainichi

The Mainichi on social media