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Japan's Abe says Upper House victory gives him mandate to push on with reforms

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Japan's Abe says Upper House victory gives him mandate to push on with reforms

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The ruling bloc of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has secured a decisive victory in the Upper House, giving it a majority in both houses of parliament.

It sets the stage for more stable government in Japan. Opposition parties have controlled the Upper House since 2006 – able to block reforms passed by the Lower House and create political deadlock.

Abe told supporters: “I regard the election result as a big call from voters that they want politics to be decisive. I should press ahead with our economic policies under a stable political environment.”

The election result is a blow for those outside Abe’s ruling coalition. The President of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Banri Kaied acknowledged that his party had lessons to learn, saying: “The outcome is a result of public criticism towards this party, dating back to when we were in power 39 months. Our party has much to do to regain public trust.”

Analysts say Abe now faces a difficult balancing act – to avoid angering his allies if he gets too bold with his reforms, while also making sure he doesn’t disappoint investors by not going far enough.