The Liberal Democratic Party will return to control the government it has ruled over for almost six decades after being out of power for three years and three months with a landslide win in the Lower House election on Dec. 16.
Shinzo Abe, who became LDP president in September, will be named the next prime minister in a special Diet session that is expected to be convened in the week beginning Dec. 24. He will return to a post he abruptly resigned in September 2007.
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan suffered a devastating defeat, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced his resignation as party head late on Dec. 16 to take responsibility for the drubbing suffered by his party.
The newly formed Japan Restoration Party, headed by former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara and Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, became the third largest party in the Lower House, but another new party, the anti-nuclear Tomorrow Party of Japan, led by Shiga Governor Yukiko Kada, suffered a major setback.
The turnout according to figures compiled by The Asahi Shimbun was about 59 percent, which would be about 10 percentage points below the turnout for the landmark 2009 Lower House election, which ushered the DPJ into power.
The LDP victory was equivalent to the sweeping victory in the 2005 Lower House election when postal privatization was the major issue.
The LDP’s ruling coalition with New Komeito has secured a total of more than 320 seats, or two-thirds of the seats in the Lower House, which would allow the coalition to pass legislation on a second vote in that chamber and override the Upper House, even if it defeats the bill.