Japan’s Abe wins two thirds and will be able to Amend Constitution

Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition won a combined 312 seats, keeping its two-thirds “super majority” in the 465-member lower house. Shinzo Abe will almost certainly secure a third three-year term as LDP leader September, 2018 and go on to become Japan’s longest-serving premier. It also means his “Abenomics” growth strategy centered on the hyper-easy monetary policy will likely continue.

The U.S.-drafted constitution’s Article 9, if taken literally, bans the maintenance of armed forces. But Japanese governments have interpreted it to allow a military exclusively for self-defense. Abe has proposed modifying the Japanese constitution to codify that Japan can have a military for self-defense.

Amendments must be approved by two-thirds of each chamber of parliament and then by a majority in a public referendum. Abe will now control the needed two-thirds majority.