Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s party won a major victory in Sunday’s election. However, the election victory is overshadowed by the murder of ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a party member of Kishida.
Kishida and Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) increased its parliamentary majority in the election, just two days after Abe’s assassination, with the LDP winning 63 seats, 8 more than in the previous election. The smaller coalition partner Komeito won 13 seats, bringing the coalition’s total to 76. Good for a large majority of the 125 seats, keeping Kishida’s government in power.
The vast majority gives Kishida an unprecedentedly broad mandate to realize his agenda: one that includes major investments in defence, and an amendment to the Japanese constitution – a lifelong dream of Abe.
Yet there was no euphoria at LDP headquarters on Sunday: there was a moment of silence in memory of the murdered ex-Prime Minister, and flags were flown at half-mast.