TOKYO, July 22 (RIA Novosti) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition won a comfortable majority in Sunday’s elections to the upper house of the Japanese parliament, according to the official electoral website.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party, along with its small coalition partner New Komeito, won 76 seats in the parliament’s upper house in addition to the 59 they already have.
Only half the 242 upper-house seats were up for election. Taking into account the distribution of forces in the 121 remaining seats, the ruling coalition will now hold 135 mandates, while opposition lawmakers will control 107 seats.
Japan’s opposition Democratic Party received 17 seats, Your Party, the Japan Restoration Party and the Communist Party secured eight seats each, the Socialist Party won one seat. Three mandates were won by independent candidates.
“Voters have chosen stability,” Abe said commenting on the results of the vote.
Following a win in December’s lower house elections, Abe’s coalition now holds the majority in both houses of the parliament. This ends the so-called "twisted parliament" situation, when opposing political forces control upper and lower parliament chambers and attempt to block each other’s legal initiatives.
With 52.26 percent of registered voters casting their ballots, the polls have shown one of the country’s lowest turnouts. It is the third lowest turnout since the country held its first elections in 1947, following 44.52 percent in 1990 and 50.72 percent in 1992.