Japan's Abe says upper house election win shows support for constitution debate

22 July 2019
2019-07-22 11:54

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc won a solid majority in Japan's upper house election on Sunday. Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, the Komeito party, were assured at least 69 of the 124 seats being contested in parliament's 245-seat upper house, with 9 seats yet to be called, an NHK projection showed.

NHK said the ruling bloc and its allies fell short of the 85 seats needed to retain the two-thirds "super majority" required to begin revising the constitution's pacifist Article 9 to further legitimize the military, a controversial step. Abe, however, said the size of victory showed voters wanted to debate changing the charter for what would be the first time since its enactment after Japan's defeat in World War Two. Abe is on track to become Japan's longest-serving premier if he stays on until November.

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