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Cover Stories Series 2013> Japan Consolidates Leadership> News
UPDATED: July 21, 2013
Abe Vows to Push Forward Economic Policies after Upper House Election

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Sunday that he and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will push forward their economic policies as the issue of a "twisted Diet" has been resolved after the upper house election, in which the Japan's ruling bloc secured a majority.

Abe said at a press conference that the resolve of the "twisted Diet" means that his party can move forward with the economic policies and "would like to make sure that Japanese people can really feel the effects of the policies."

Abe said his economic policies are a "right path to pursue" and highlighted that the election victory is a respond from the voters towards the policies dubbed "Abenomics."

"We will let the real economy sees the effect and let the people feel their income and wages increasing," said Abe.

The ruling LDP and its coalition partner the New Komeito Party has secured 73 seats as of now in the election as the LDP and the New Komeito Party has secured 63 seats and 10 seats respectively.

Along with the uncontested 59 seats of the ruling bloc, the ruling camp has maintained more than 122 seats in the 242-seat upper house. Vote-counting is still under way and the ruling bloc may get more seats.

The prime minister also said he will try to bring political stability to the country, adding the ruling bloc will decide things in a speedy and timely manner, while the LDP will stay at a "humble" manner when manage the Diet.

As to the constitution revision, Abe said he will not try to amend all articles at once and will start with the Article 96, adding he will ask the public opinion first.

"I believe people from the Japanese Restoration Party have the same idea, if we can have a majority in the Diet, I do hope that we can move forward on the issue," said Abe.

On the issue of visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, the hawkish leader said he will not clarify whether or not he will visit the shrine, which honors Japanese war dead and 14 war criminals during the World War II, as it may trigger diplomatic issue with neighboring countries.

"I believe it is natural to pay respect to people who fought for their country and I will show my respect to them," said Abe, adding that ministers of his cabinet will also make their own decisions on whether or not that they will pay visits to the notorious shrine.

As to the opposition parties, exit polls forecast that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) would secure record-low seats in the upper house with the number of 14 to 21 seats. As of now, the party has secured 14 seats.

Senior official of the DPJ Sumio Mabuchi said in an interview that the election was a "very tough fight" and expressed his gratitude to the supporters and voters who cast their votes to the party.

"I gravely accept the outcome," said Mabuchi. The DPJ remained the largest party in the upper house before the election. The party was defeated by the LDP in the lower house election last December and was ousted from the ruling position.

An NHK exit poll said that the Japan Restoration Party, which has secured seven seats now, may get seven to 10 seats, which the party's co-head Toru Hashimoto said he can not consider it as a victory, according to local media.

Hashimoto said in an interview that his party is not able to stop the LDP's momentum as voters have showed their expectations towards the LDP, adding the party will talk about the outcome among the leadership.

About his resignation, Hashimoto said that the issue will be left to the party's executive to decide.

As of now, Your Party and the Japanese Communist Party have secured six seats and five seats, respectively.

Individual runners have secured three seats, while the People's Life Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Green wind party gained no seat for now. There are still 13 seats to be decided.

(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2013)

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