Japanese prime minister's party scores win in Senate elections

Tokyo, Jul 21 (EFE).- The party of Japan's conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, scored a clear victory Sunday in the Senate elections here, strengthening his power and helping him consolidate his aggressive measures to stimulate the economy.

On a day without surprises - given that the voter surveys had already predicted it - the governing Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP, managed to prevail with the support of its partner, the Buddhist New Komeito Party, and garner a large majority in the upper chamber, which to date had been in the hands of the opposition.

Voting results broadcast by NHK public television show that the conservative LPD and New Komeito together garnered 73 seats, which - in addition to the 59 they had already won in the 2010 elections - now gives them control of both parliamentary chambers.

The Senate holds partial elections every three years in which 121 members are elected for six-year terms.

Up to now, no party had held a majority in the Senate, although the Democratic Party of Japan and several opposition groups had had enough seats to join forces and block the government's initiatives.