The ruling Liberal Democratic party of the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Fukuda, has retained power?
GV EXTERIOR Polling station, Tokyo, Japan, and SVs election posters on wall (5 shots)
TV INTERIOR MVs People casting votes in Upper House of parliament election (5 shots)
SV Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda and wife in polling station
CU Fukuda and wife voting in first ballot
SVs Fukuda and wife voting in second and third ballots (2 shots)
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Background: The ruling Liberal Democratic party of the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Fukuda, has retained power in the Upper House of the country's parliament -- the Diet -- with the help of independent members. Voting was on Sunday (10 July). Half of the 252 seats in the House of Councillors were up for re-election, and there was speculation that MR. Fukuda's party might lose its control. But after the count, Mr. Fukuda emerged with a slender majority. His party has a majority in the Lower House, with the aid of Independents.
SYNOPSIS: A good turnout was reported at most of the 50,000 polling stations throughout the country. Seventy eight million Japanese were eligible to vote.
Many family voters brought their children with them to the polling booths. It's encouraged by the Japanese authorities, as it accustoms the people to electoral procedures at an early age. Voters on Sunday also had to make their choice for local council candidates. In the national elections for the Upper House of the Diet, half the seats were up for re-election. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party of the Prime Minister, Mr. Fukuda, had to win 65 to retain overall control.
Mr. Fukuda, who, with his wife, voted at the polling station near their private home in Tokyo, lost two of his supporters in the election. His party won 63 seats, but with the addition of three Independents, retained a slender majority. This was the first electoral test for mr. Fukuda.
He took over the leadership of his party after the Lockheed scandal, which lost them considerable support in the Lower House elections. However, the Liberal Democratic Party still holds control there with the help of Independents. Mr. Fukuda said that what was important for the nation during this election was stability , and that could only be ensured wit ha victory for his party, which has been the governing party in Japan for over twenty years.