The ruling Liberal Democratic Party regained a majority in the powerful House of Representatives on Friday when it agreed to allow a former Shinshinto member to return to the party fold.

It is the first time in four years for the LDP to have 251 members in the 500-seat chamber, including Lower House Speaker Soichiro Ito, who became an independent when he assumed the post last November. Traditionally, the speaker and vice speaker are independents to ensure fairness.

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