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PacNet #30A – Should he stay or should he go? Japan’s debate over the LDP’s electoral defeat

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has told the Japanese public that, despite a devastating defeat for his ruling coalition government in the Upper House elections last Sunday, he will do “the responsible thing”: he will stay on as the party’s leader and as Japan’s prime minister. He asked some of the party’s key factional representatives to publicly back his decision, and early the following day, he met Ota Akihiro, leader of the LDP coalition partner, New Komeito Party, to issue a joint statement that their cooperation would continue. New Komeito also suffered badly on Sunday, losing key districts to Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) competitors.