Japan’s ruling party ‘suffers heavy election defeat’

Japan’s ruling party ‘suffers heavy election defeat’

Japan’s ruling Democratic party suffered a heavy defeat in parliamentary elections today, media exit polls showed, following a voter backlash over the prospect of higher sales taxes.

The projected losses were worse than expected and will make it difficult for prime minister Naoto Kan’s young government to effectively tackle serious problems confronting the world’s second-largest economy, from reining in its bulging deficit, reviving growth, and supporting a rapidly ageing population.

The projected results indicate that the ruling coalition lost its 122-seat majority in the Japanese parliament’s upper house.

The election will not directly affect the Democrats’ grip on power because they control the more powerful lower house of their parliament.

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