Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida lays paper roses next to the names of candidates from his party, the PLD, to indicate their victory in the senatorial elections.
The Japanese unsurprisingly granted their confidence in the ruling coalition on Sunday in Senate elections, according to seat projections, a vote that was eclipsed by the Friday assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a campaign rally.
The Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, nationalist right) to which Mr. Abe belonged, and his ally the Komeito, would win between 70 and 83 seats out of the 125 to be filled, according to projections by the public broadcaster NHK – the Senate has 248 seats, half renewed every three years.
I think it is important that the elections were able to be held normally, commented the current Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, adding that he would tackle the important current issues, the COVID-19, Ukraine and inflation.
Two days earlier, the head of government denounced the barbaric attack on Shinzo Abe, his former mentor, emphasizing the importance of standing up for free and fair elections, which are the foundation of democracy. We will never give in to violence, he added.
Occurring in Nara, in the west, the assassination by bullets of Mr. Abe, one of the country's best-known politicians, deeply bruised and moved both Japan and the United States. abroad, and messages of condolence poured in from around the world, including from China and South Korea, with which Japan has an often rocky relationship.
The Secretary of ;U.S. State Antony Blinken, traveling in Asia, will stop in Tokyo on Monday to offer his condolences in person, according to the State Department.
Mr Abe's office said a wake would be held on Monday evening, and the funeral on Tuesday, with family and loved ones in attendance. They will take place at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, according to local media.
The alleged perpetrator of the attack, arrested at the scene, confessed to deliberately targeting M Abe, explaining to the police that he resented an organization he believed he was affiliated with. Some Japanese media mentioned a religious group.
Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, is believed to be a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (the Japanese Navy), and told law enforcement that he used a homemade weapon.
According to several media, he told investigators that he had gone to Okayama on Thursday with the intention of assassinating Mr. Abe who was taking part in an event there, but finally gave up because participants had to provide their name and address.
After being briefly suspended by the various parties at the news of the attack, the electoral campaign resumed on Saturday with heightened security measures, as the police in Nara acknowledged undeniable flaws in those surrounding the rally of Mr. Abe.
The campaign was dominated by price rises and risks to electricity supply, as the heatwave that has gripped Japan since late June fear shortages in this area.
The global economy is stagnating and Japan is also in economic crisis in many ways, with wages not rising, Shigeru Kato, 75, told AFP after leaving Japan. #x27;a polling station in Tokyo. If nothing is done, Japan will sink even deeper, he added.
In a country often criticized for the lack of female representation in its institutions and the management of its companies, a record proportion of 33% of women appeared this Sunday among the 545 candidates.
La A looming senatorial victory would cement the power of Fumio Kishida, who has championed a more redistributive economic policy dubbed new capitalism, ahead of a three-year period without a scheduled election.
His close cooperation with Japan's Western allies to put pressure on Russia has also been praised in the Archipelago, and his plan to significantly increase the defense budget is also as China continues to assert its territorial ambitions in the Asia-Pacific.
The trend of increased defense spending could continue strengthen after the election, according to Yu Uchiyama, pro professor of political science at the University of Tokyo, who thinks [Japan's] tough stance on China is likely to be maintained.