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Japan’s ruling coalition secures upper house majority

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition secured a majority in Japan’s upper house of parliament in elections, according to vote counts by public television and other media. Media reports said that Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner Komeito had won 64 seats in the upper house after two hours of vote counting.

The two-thirds majority needed for constitutional revision could be within reach if the ruling bloc can gain support from members of another conservative party and independents. Up for grabs were 124 seats in the less powerful of Japan’s two parliamentary chambers.

There are 245 seats in the upper house, which does not choose the prime minister, about half of which are elected every three years. The results appeared to match or even exceed pre-election polls that indicated Abe’s ruling bloc was to keep ground in the upper house.

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