Japan elects conservative Shinzo Abe as new prime minister

Japan elects conservative Shinzo Abe as new prime minister.Japan’s Parliament Chooses Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister.

Shinzo Abe, the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), was elected as the new prime minister of Japan in a special session of the Diet on December 26, 2012.

In a lower house election, Abe gained 328 votes of 478 valid votes in the 480-seat chamber.

While in the upper house, where the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) remains the largest force, Abe failed to gain more than half of votes in the first round election.

In the second round, Abe defeated his rival Banri Kaieda, the new leader of the DPJ.

The LDP returned to power by winning a landslide victory in the lower house election on Dec. 16 and put an end to the three-year rule of the DPJ.

The victory puts Mr. Abe, 58, a former prime minister and outspoken nationalist, at Japan’s helm as it faces the growing burden of its aging population, years of industrial decline and the challenge of an increasingly assertive China. The change in prime ministers is the seventh in six years, a high turnover that is itself a sign of this nation’s inability to escape its long economic funk.

Abe will unveil his new coalition government formed by the LDP and the New Komeito Party which hold 325 seats in the more powerful lower house.

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