LDP candidate wins Upper House by-election in Ishikawa

A candidate for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party won a by-election to the House of Councilors in the conservative stronghold of Ishikawa Prefecture on Sunday, according to Kyodo News projections.

The result could give the ruling bloc a boost ahead of Upper House elections this summer. But Kishida is also expected to continue to face challenges, including Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has impacted Japan’s nascent economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Shuji Miyamoto, also backed by Komeito, the LDP’s junior partner in the coalition, defeated three opposition candidates in the by-election. The 51-year-old had given up his seat in the Upper House to proportional representation to run in the constituency.

The by-election came after a LDP lawmaker resigned to run in last month’s gubernatorial race in Ishikawa, in which votes for the party were split among three candidates, which raises concerns about its unity.

Sunday’s victory for the ruling coalition was also helped by the failure of opposition parties to present a unified candidate, as they strive to overcome their differences to forge a common front against the coalition in the elections this summer.

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