Jul 10, 2022 - World

Shinzo Abe's political party wins supermajority in parliamentary elections

Japan's Prime Minister and the President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Fumio Kishida places a red paper rose on a LDP candidate's name to

Fumio Kishida places a red paper rose on a Liberal Democratic Party candidate's name to indicate the victory in the upper house election, at the party's headquarters in Tokyo on July 10. Photo: Toru Hanai-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Japan's ruling coalition won a sweeping supermajority in the country's parliamentary elections on Sunday, which would enable it to fulfill former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's enduring ambition to reform the country's pacifist constitution.

Why it matters: The elections were held two days after Abe's shocking assassination at a campaign stop geared toward winning the parliament’s upper house.

  • Abe resigned from his post as prime minister in 2020 — to be succeeded by current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida — but remained an influential figure in the two leaders' shared Liberal Democratic Party.

The big picture: The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partners won 87 seats in Sunday's election, surpassing the 70 needed to form a supermajority, the New York Times reported.

  • Abe's assassination seems to have led to a boost in voter turnout, which came in at over 52%, above 2019's 49%, per the Times.
  • The supermajority will allow the coalition to change Japan's constitution, which calls for the renunciation of war, opening up the potential for Japan to become a military power.

What they're saying: “I have the responsibility to take over the ideas of former Prime Minister Abe,” Kishida said at a campaign event on Saturday, the Times reported.

Go deeper