Japan’s Prime Minister Shinze Abe, has insisted he’ll not resign after leading his Liberal Democrats to a crushing election defeat. The ruling party lost control of the upper house in Abes’ first electoral test since coming to power ten months ago. He accepted the blame for the huge losses and said he would listen to the voice of the people. But he added he would be staying in office to see through a programme of reforms.
Abe’s coalition still has a huge majority in the more powerful lower chamber. But with control of the upper house having passed to the main opposition Democratic Party, the government’s reform goals will be hard to achieve. The defeat is being attributed to a string of government scandals and a fiasco over pension records.
The election generated interested on the other side of the world. Human rights activists in Peru celebrated the failure of their former President Alberto Fujimori’s attempt to win a seat. The ethnic Japanese is under house arrest in Chile on human rights abuse charges. Some in Peru viewed his candidature as a tactic to avoid trial.