Japan’s election campaign begins as Abe seeks super-majority to change constitution

Today, candidates begin campaigning for the 124 vacant seats in the Japanese House of Councilors election that will be held

japan election campaign

Photo: Behorvz Meha/AFP/Getty

Today, candidates begin campaigning for the 124 vacant seats in the Japanese House of Councilors election that will be held on July 21.

PM Abe and the coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Komeito Party are seeking to obtain a super-majority in the House, making this election pivotal for the next six years of Japanese politics. A super-majority would allow for Abe to revise Article 9 of the constitution, codifying the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and restructuring the nation’s military platform.

The Constitutional Democratic Party and the Democratic for the People Party, which serve as the main opposition, fear that the timing of this election plays into the hands of the LDP as Abe maintained high support ratings in the last fiscal quarter. While an unpopular tax hike that is expected to slow recent economic growth will take effect in October, Abe has capitalized on global events, such as the G20 Summit and the thaw with North Korea, to garner support.

In order to prevent Abe from gaining 53 seats, the opposition will run an aggressive campaign on the negative impacts of Abenomics and the importance of preserving the constitution.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.