Japan election: Voters back Shinzo Abe as PM wins new term © BBC 14th December, 2014
Japan’s ruling coalition has won a new two-thirds majority in parliamentary elections seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policy.
Japanese media reported that Mr Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) retained its House of Representatives majority.
The LDP will govern with the Komeito party after the parties won 325 seats out of 475.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the snap vote to secure support for his “Abenomics” economic reforms.
Public broadcaster NHK said the LDP had won 290 seats, with Komeito taking 35.
The main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, won 73 seats, an increase of 11, NHK said.
Mr Abe was elected in 2012 and has tried to revive the economy by raising public spending and printing money.
After an initial burst of growth, Japan slipped back into recession in the second half of this year, which many economists have blamed, at least in part, on an increase in sales tax, from 5% to 8% in April.
The tax increase was legislated by the previous government in 2012 to curb Japan’s huge public debt, which is the highest among developed nations.
Mr Abe says he called the election to get a mandate to delay a second increase in the tax to 10%, scheduled for 2015.
“My ‘Abenomics’ policies are still only half-way done,” Mr Abe said on Sunday, adding that his government would not become “complacent”.
“I am aware that there are still a lot of people who are still not feeling the benefits. But it’s my duty to bring [benefits] to those very people, and I believe this election made that clear.”
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