TOKYO – The coalition of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a resounding victory in upper house elections Sunday, broadcasters’ exit polls showed.
The Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner New Komeito claimed at least 71 of the 121 seats that were being contested, NHK projected, handing them control over both chambers of parliament.
Citing its own polling and interviews with voters, the state broadcaster said the governing coalition could have won as many as 80 of the seats that were up for grabs.
There are 242 seats in the upper house, half of which are elected every three years on six-year terms.
Other television stations predicted a similar margin of victory.
The projected win means Abe will face few legislative obstacles in his drive to push through painful economic reforms, including liberalising trade and raising consumption tax to begin slowing the growth of Japan’s runaway national debt.