PanARMENIAN.Net - Shinzo Abe has declared victory in Japan';s national elections with polls indicating his party has won a majority of seats in the upper house of Parliament, and is now set to become the country';s longest-serving prime minister, CNN reports.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won 71 of the 124 seats in the 245-member House of Councillors, according to public broadcaster NHK, falling short of the super majority required to complete its longstanding goal of changing the county';s pacifist constitution.
The Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP), the main opposition body, won 53 seats, according to NHK.
'I would like to express my gratitude to the voters,' said Abe in a press conference, Monday afternoon. 'This is a choice about the political stability and chaos. We asked the voters to choose between these two options and many people listened to our speeches on the streets.'
Abe laid out a variety of challenges his party intends to tackle during the next term, including social security reforms, free education, strengthening the economy, and addressing the aging population and shrinking workforce.
Sunday';s result leaves Abe with a clear majority in both houses of Parliament, following a landslide win in the lower house in 2017. However, Abe failed to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution -- a signature goal for which Abe has set a 2020 deadline.
'In this election, the constitutional amendment was also a big issue - it will be finally determined by the national referendum,' Abe said on Monday, calling the two-thirds requirement 'a very tall order.'
'The people of Japan will have a final say on this matter.'