Shinzo Abe`s party lose control of several prefectures
Osaka became an opposition, the authorities managed to defend only Hokkaido
/NOVOSTIVL/ Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party won the key gubernatorial election in Hokkaido on Sunday but saw significant intraparty divisions appear in other local races which could bode ill for the upper house election this summer. This article appeared in the Kyodo News.
The LDP's traditional support bases were not united behind a single candidate in some prefectures, including Fukuoka where a contender supported by Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso lost his bid.
"Our victory in Hokkaido was big," LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai told reporters, referring to the only race among Sunday's 11 gubernatorial elections that pitted a candidate backed by the ruling bloc of the LDP and Komeito against a unified candidate for opposition parties.
But Nikai also said the result in Fukuoka was severe. "By reflecting on the outcome, we hope to move toward the upper house election while keeping the party united."
he LDP also lost in the Osaka gubernatorial and mayoral races. A political group pressing for restructuring the western Japan city into a metropolis like Tokyo to seek more efficient governance gained momentum by winning the elections.
Local elections are held simultaneously every four years to cut costs and boost voter turnout. Japan will have another round of simultaneous local elections on April 21 to pick mayors and assembly members in Tokyo wards, smaller cities, towns and villages that will coincide with two House of Representatives' by-elections in Osaka and Okinawa prefectures.