Japanese expats start voting in upper house election

Japanese expatriates on Friday began visiting embassies and consulates around the world to cast their ballots for the upcoming House of Councillors election set for July 21 in Japan.

Jun Makihara, 55, who cast his vote at the Consulate General in New York, said he supports Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and said, "If the Liberal Democratic Party scores a major victory and makes the Abe government a long-term administration, it will probably be a good thing."

In London, a 35-year-old male company employee, who has lived in the British capital for two years, said at the Japanese Embassy that he is not yet sure how much the prime minister's economic policies, widely referred to as Abenomics, are having an impact.

At the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, a 33-year-old Japanese man who works for a South Korean company said, "I will feel relieved if Japan's relations with neighboring countries will normalize and stabilize through this election."

Miyuki Otsuka, a 46-year-old resident of China for 17 years, said, "Last year, I realized for the first time that Japanese politics affect us so much," referring to diplomatic rows between China and Japan. Otsuka cast her ballot at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.