DPJ seeks support from opposition parties on key issues after election setback

08:25, July 12, 2010      

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who is also president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) , at a press conference in the wake of the upper house election, said his party expected support from other parties on key issues.

Kan ruled out the possibility of an immediate forming of grand coalition with the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

He said he accepted the results of the election and the opinions aired by voters. Kan attributed the election setback to his remarks on possible consumption tax hike. But, he said he does not believe a debate on the consumption tax was completely rejected by voters and he will continue to seek cross-party debate on tax reform.

He said he will stay in office to press ahead with the running of a responsible government.

Japan's ruling coalition, headed by DPJ, is certain to lose the majority of seats in the upper house in Sunday's election, broadcaster NHK reported.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the main opposition, is sure to garner the most seats of 121 up for grabs.

The DPJ will remain in power because the party is controlling the more powerful lower house, or the House of Representatives.

The vote counting is under way and full official results are due out in the early hours Monday.

The upper house election is the first national poll since the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) rose to power last September. A total of 437 candidates are contesting for the 121 seats in this year's election. The ruling coalition needs to win at least 56 seats to retain a majority in the upper house.

The result of the election is going to have a great impact on whether the ruling coalition can pass bills smoothly.

During the campaign which started in late June, the ruling and opposition parties had engaged in hot debates over issues including a possible consumption tax hike and economic growth strategies.

The upper house has 242 seats, of which 96 are elected by proportional representation from a national constituency and 146 are elected from Japan's 47 prefectures. Councilors' term of office is six years.

The upper house holds elections every three years for, alternately, only half of the total 242 seats, with the other half remain uncontested until the next election. The upper house is not subject to dissolution, meaning that elected officials are basically guaranteed a full term of six years.

Source: Xinhua


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