'Super-Majority' for Shinzo Abe. The end of the pacifist constitution is closer
The premier’s coalition wins 312 seats out of 465. Divided Democrats took only 54 and 49. Snap election called over Korean crisis. Abe wants to change Article 9 of the Constitution with which Japan rejects war.
Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has confirmed his mandate and taken a "super-majority" thanks to the overwhelming victory in yesterday's vote. The result paves the way for the reform of the Japanese pacifist constitution, following years of controversy involving the charter.
According to local media, the coalition led by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), won 312 seats out of 465. The Democratic Party was defeated after the split that saw the Party of hope founded by the Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike. The two groups took 54 and 49 seats respectively.
Abe dissolved parliament last September and called the people to vote for a stronger mandate to face the "crises" that plagued Japan, including the North Korean threat, during which "strong diplomacy is needed". It was the last two Pyongyang missile launches to favor Abe's victory and his more militaristic line, reversing the tendency of a declining consensus.
With the new majority, Abe will be able to review the constitution, and in particular Article 9, under which Japan renounces war and a permanent army. Successive governments interpreted the norm by defining the Japanese army as a "self-defence force". For years, intentions to reform the constitution have sparked protests and controversy. If a change is approved in parliament, the population will be called to vote in a public referendum.