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Japan votes for upper house; Abe’s party seen as favorite

/ 10:18 AM July 21, 2019

TOKYO – Japanese are voting in an election for the upper house of parliament, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc is expected to keep the majority.

 Japan votes for upper house; Abe's party seen as favorite

A voter casts a ballot in the upper house elections as a representative of a local election administration commission observes at a polling station in Tokyo Sunday, July 21, 2019. Voting started Sunday morning for the upper house elections where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition is seen to retain majority, according to local media report. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Up for grabs Sunday are 124 seats in the less powerful of Japan’s two chambers that doesn’t choose the prime minister.

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Media polls have indicated Abe’s ruling bloc is expected to keep the majority as most voters consider it as a safer choice over an opposition with uncertain track records.

Opposition parties have focused on concerns over household finances, such as the impact from an upcoming sales tax increase and strains on the public pension system amid an aging population.

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Abe hopes to gain enough seats to boost chances for a constitutional revision, his long-cherished goal before his term ends in 2021. /gsg

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TAGS: asia news, Japan, parliament, shinzo abe, upper house, vote, world news
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