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June 27, 2022

LDP Unlikely to Lose Upper House Majority, Kato Tells Straits Times, But Poor Results Could Weaken Kishida’s Base

Campaigning for the July 10 House of Councillors election has begun, and media polls show that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his Liberal Democratic Party enjoy stable public support on the strength of his response to the Ukraine crisis and with COVID-19 under control.

But Research Director Sota Kato told the Straits Times that while it was “next to impossible” for the ruling coalition to lose its majority, the election will have great significance for the fate of the cabinet.

“The Kishida administration has by no means a strong internal base, and he has had to rely on support from other factions,” Kato said, pointing to the fact Kishida’s faction is only the fourth-largest within the LDP.

In a separate Straits Times article on the biggest issues for the July 10 Upper House vote, Kato noted, “Political parties tend to campaign on pork-barrel politics and . . . will try to score votes by pledging hefty subsidies or even a reduction of the consumption tax,” rather than focus on “big-picture fiscal and monetary policy debates.”

“Campaigning kicks off in Japan for July 10 Upper House election,” Straits Times
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/campaigning-kicks-off-in-japan-for-july-10-upper-house-election

“Inflation, weakening yen set to be top issues in Japan Upper House election,” Straits Times
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/inflation-weakening-yen-set-to-be-top-issues-in-japan-upper-house-election

Profile of Research Director Sota Kato
https://www.tkfd.or.jp/en/experts/detail.php?id=29

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