The result of Sunday’s Lower House election was a vote of confidence in the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — by default. The opposition was more fragmented than ever, failing to put up a viable challenge to the administration and allowing the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito ruling alliance to once again sweep a two-thirds majority of the seats contested.
Abe’s snap election gamble paid off, maintaining the structure of his administration and increasing the chances of him winning a third term as LDP president next year through 2021. But the prime minister should not take the outcome as an unqualified thumbs-up for the administration by voters. As he stated while commenting on the election result, Abe should humbly manage his administration as he grapples with its policy challenges going forward.