Japan’s ruling coalition including former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito, and others, scored a major victory in the parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Sunday’s election elected 125 of the 248 councilors in the House of Councilors, Japan’s upper house. The results will allow the governing coalition to amend the pacifist constitution, as the coalition to amend the constitution will now hold more than two-thirds of the chamber. The LDP has long pushed to amend the constitution, and now with a supermajority in both chambers of parliament in favor of an amendment, the amendment seems likely to happen.
Abe was one of the most vocal supporters of amending the constitution. By amending the constitution, the ruling coalition will be able to further expand Japan’s military capability and strengthen Japan’s role in regional security. The current Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has followed Abe’s policy in increasing military spending amid increasing threats from China and North Korea.
However, rising prices and energy shortage, due to the war in Ukraine will be one of the first challenges that the LDP will have to face. Abe’s death will bring major changes in the LDP which has been in power almost continuously since 1955. Whether or not Kishida will be able to push forward major policy changes is still in question after Abe’s death.
“We must demonstrate that our democracy and election will not back down on violence,” said Kishida. “I have the responsibility to take over the ideas of former Prime Minister Abe.”