TOKYO, Oct 25 (Asia Free Press): Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost in one of two by-elections held ahead of the general election this weekend but won the other, said local media on Monday.
According to Kyodo News Agency, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he solemnly accepts the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s loss in one of two by-elections held ahead of the general election this weekend.
“We won people’s confidence in Yamaguchi, but saw a disappointing result in Shizuoka. I would like to solemnly accept the judgment of people in (Shizuoka) prefecture,” Kyodo quoted Kishida as saying.
As two LDP lawmakers resigned, the by-elections for vacant seats in the upper chamber of parliament took place in the Yamaguchi and Shizuoka constituencies. The by-elections, which were the first national contests held since Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio took office on Oct. 4, were closely watched as a bellwether for the general election.
“This is the result of an accumulation of various factors. We will thoroughly analyze them, brace ourselves and continue our efforts toward the House of Representatives election,” he said.
Shinnosuke Yamazaki, who was supported by the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People, defeated the LDP’s Yohei Wakabayashi with 650,789 votes to 602,780 votes in the Shizuoka constituency. The independent candidate is a former member of a prefectural assembly.
Tsuneo Kitamura, who was supported by the LDP’s junior coalition partner Komeito, won the by-election in the Yamaguchi constituency.
The ruling parties said that the setback in Shizuoka might have a limited impact on the upcoming House of Representatives election, but they would need to put more effort in order to rally support for the ruling parties, local media reported.
The opposition parties said the election results indicated that voters were unsatisfied with the Japanese government, adding that they hoped the results would provide them momentum heading into the general election.