Japan election: Conservative victory signals shift, per initial results


A boy helps his mother (R) to cast a vote in the general election at a polling station in Funabashi, suburban Tokyo on December 16, 2012. Voters began casting ballots in Japan for a general election likely to return long-ruling conservatives to power after three years in the wilderness.


Tadayuki Yoshikawa

Japan's conservatives appear to have returned to power in today's election, given the resignation of the prime minister and preliminary voting results cited by CNN

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Official results are due out Monday, but state media pointed to a win for the right-leaning Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which would see former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe return to power, according to CNN

Reuters laid out the implications of that result this way: 

"An LDP win will usher in a government committed to a tough stance in a territorial row with China, a pro-nuclear energy policy despite last year's Fukushima disaster and a potentially risky prescription for hyper-easy monetary policy and big fiscal spending to beat deflation and tame a strong yen."

Outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda took the blame for his young reformist party's loss, saying the "biggest responsibility lies on me" and vowed to step down as party chairman, said CNN

Founded in 1955, the LDP has been in power in Japan for much of the party's history. "We have promised to pull Japan out of deflation and correct a strong yen," Reuters cited Abe as saying on television today. "We need to do this. The same goes for national security and diplomacy."

Lawmakers are expected to install Abe as new prime minister on December 26, said Reuters. The move would see him return to a position he held from 2006-2007.

The results point to Japanese frustrations with the economy and disappointment over perceived policy failures on the part of the Noda's ruling Democratic Party of Japan, analysts told The Associated Press