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Japan’s Abe claims victory in upper house election

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JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe claimed victory Sunday for his ruling coalition in the upper house election, but appeared to fail to secure a “supermajority” in the chamber in support of his dream to amend the nation’s pacifist constitution.

With the results, the 64-year-old Abe, who is on course to become Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, aims to shore up his mandate ahead of a crucial consumption tax hike later this year, along with trade negotiations with Washington.

“The ruling parties were given a majority … as people decided to urge us to firmly push for policies under the stable political base,” Abe told public broadcaster NHK.

“I want to meet their expectations soundly,” he said at the headquarters of his Liberal Democratic Party.

SEE ALSO: Abe’s dominance belies Japan’s weak politics

Abe’s LDP and its coalition partner Komeito are forecast to take at least 69 of the 124 seats — about half the chamber — up for election on Sunday, with six........

© Asian Correspondent