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Politics

Japan's ruling LDP snags local races despite discontent over Abenomics

Lacking candidates, opposition parties unable to make gains ahead of upper house election

Naomichi Suzuki celebrates after winning the Hokkaido gubernatorial race on April 7. Suzuki was backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and junior ruling coalition partner Komeito.
Naomichi Suzuki celebrates after winning the Hokkaido gubernatorial race on April 7. Suzuki was backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and junior ruling coalition partner Komeito.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party won 10 gubernatorial races and many seats in prefectural assemblies on Sunday, as opposition parties failed to offer alternatives to voters outside major metropolitan areas who are unhappy with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies.

The election results show the LDP is in a superior position going into this summer's national election for the Diet's upper house, facing little coherent opposition. The ruling party positioned economic revitalization as its leading policy, and Abe hopes to frame the victory in Sunday's local elections as a mandate for his Abenomics policies.

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