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Ruling LDP-Komei bloc defeated by DPJ in Lower House by-election in Yamaguchi


In the House of Representatives by-election in the Yamaguchi No.2 constituency on April 27, Democratic Party candidate Yamamoto Shigetaro beat Liberal Democratic-Komei Party candidate Hiraoka.


It was the first Diet (national parliament) election since Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo took office last year, and voter turnout was 69 percent.


The Japanese Communist Party did not put up a candidate.


The election result clearly reflected the votersf verdict on the Fukuda Cabinet policies, in particular the new healthcare insurance system excluding senior citizens aged 75 and over from the existing healthcare program and the controversial gasoline and other road-related taxes.


The ruling bloc says that regardless of the outcome of this election, it will seek to get the bill to revive the provisional rate of the gasoline tax put to a vote. Public attention is now focused on how the outcome will affect a ruling-opposition struggle and Prime Minister Fukudafs handling of the government in the future.

- Akahata, April 28, 2008


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