Japanese voters handed the Liberal Democratic Party and its allies an overwhelming victory in Sunday’s elections, clearing the way for Shinzo Abe to return as prime minister and pursue new stimulus measures to revive the world’s third biggest economy.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda conceded defeat and said he would resign as president of the Democratic Party of Japan, after the scale of the loss in the lower house became clear. The Liberal Democratic Party ruled Japan almost continuously since 1955, until it was forced from power three years ago by the DPJ.
Public broadcaster NHK said the LDP and its coalition partner, the new Komei party, gained at least 302 seats in the 480-seat lower house. CNN affiliate TV Asahi said the LDP/Komei coalition gained at least 312 seats.
“The LDP is inheriting a struggling economy, regional tensions and questions over Japan’s role in Asia,” Abe said in interviews after polling. “The economy is at the bottom. It’s our first mission to turn it around.”
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