Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) looked in danger of losing its majority in the Lower House of Parliament on Sunday (5 December) after two-thirds of the votes had been counted in the country's general election.
Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) looked in danger of losing its majority in the Lower House of Parliament on Sunday (5 December) after two-thirds of the votes had been counted in the country's general election. It would be the first time the LDP had lost their majority in 21 years.
SYNOPSIS: One of the early voters at the Shibuya voting station in Tokyo was the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Takeo Miki and his Wife.early predictions by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, NHK, showed that Mr. Miki was assured of re-election. But some of the Prime Minister's colleagues did not fair so well. The Japanese Agriculture and Forestry Minister, Mr. Botch Ohishi and Mr. Maeda, Director-General of the Science and Technology Agency, both lost their seats in Parliament. It was the first defeat of incumbent Cabinet ministers in nearly 20 years.
NHK estimated that 73 per cent of the electorate went to the polls. The election follows the Lockheed Aircraft scandal which has seriously shaken the ruling LDP. Three former senior party leaders are facing trial on bride charges and a Parliamentary committee is continuing to investigate the scandal. One of those facing the charges is former Prime Minister, Kakuei Tanaka. But Mr. Tanaka, standing as an independent, won easy re-election in his home constituency. The two other LDP officials charged with bribery are also standing as independents. An LDP splinter group called the New Liberal Club were reported to be doing well as the first results came in.
Mr. Miki showed few signs of concern when he arrived at his party's headquarters in Tokyo. However, with 65 per cent of the votes counted, the LDP had won only 188 seats. The Socialists had taken 81, the Communists five and other parties, 54 seats. The LDP needs 256 of the 511 seats in the Lower House of Parliament to obtain a bare majority and 271 seats to ensure a stable hold on power.