Japan’s ruling party faced political gridlock today as bad losses in weekend parliamentary elections undermined its attempts to revive growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
Half of the 242 seats in the upper house of parliament were up for grabs yesterday. The ruling Democratic Party of Japan won only 44 seats – far below its stated goal of 54 – while opposition parties made major gains.
That leaves the Democrats and their coalition partner with 110 seats in the chamber.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s party will retain power because it still controls the more powerful lower house.
The top opposition Liberal Democrats have called on Kan to dissolve parliament for a general election.