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The Upper House election on Sunday, which gave voters another chance to pass judgment on the 6 ½ years of the Abe administration, ended with the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito ruling coalition alliance winning a majority of the seats contested, maintaining a stable political foothold for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Since returning to the helm of the LDP in 2012, Abe has now led the ruling coalition to victory in six consecutive nationwide Diet elections. As the results show, voters appear to have responded to Abe’s campaign call for “political stability.”

The ruling coalition and its pro-amendment allies lost their narrow two-thirds majority of the Upper House — which is necessary in both Diet chambers to initiate an amendment to the Constitution. But that was not surprising since the half of the Upper House seats up for grabs in Sunday’s election were last contested in the 2013 race, when the LDP, shortly after its stunning return to the government’s helm the previous year, won a landslide victory and claimed a particularly large number of seats. It was therefore deemed inevitable that the party would lose some seats this time.

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