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Abe wins votes but not hearts: analysts

13 6 326

Shinzo Abe may have seized a "super-majority" in Japan's parliament but he has failed to win the hearts and minds of voters suspicious of his nationalist instincts and who do not share his fixation on changing the country's pacifist constitution.

Having trounced a disorganised opposition to secure two-thirds of seats, Abe has the parliamentary numbers to start a process that would bolster the role of the military -- an ambition he has long cherished.

But the victory was far from a ringing endorsement of the 63-year-old veteran, more a win by default.

The election confirmed Abe's "difficult relations with the Japanese people," said Tobias Harris, Japanese politics expert at the Washington-based Teneo Intelligence consultancy.

"There is a certain amount of appreciation for certain aspects of what he has done." But, said Harris: "He is not loved."

An exit poll conducted by Kyodo News showed more than half of voters (51%) do not trust their prime minister, while a survey by the liberal Asahi Shimbun found 47% of those questioned would like to see someone else in charge of Japan.

Only a few months ago, that........

© Japan Today