Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, gestures as he talks with other lawmakers during an extraordinary session at the parliament’s lower house in Tokyo Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. Abe is expected to be re-elected as prime minister, following his ruling coalition’s victory in the Oct. 22 elections. (Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press)
By Associated Press By Associated Press November 1 at 3:14 AM
TOKYO — Japan’s lower house of parliament re-elected Shinzo Abe as prime minister on Wednesday after his party won a resounding victory in a snap election last month.
Abe, who has been Japan’s leader since December 2012, easily won the race with 312 votes in the 465-seat lower house. He is expected to reappoint the same ministers to his Cabinet later in the day.
The 63-year-old Abe dissolved the lower house in late September to force an election. Political badysts saw the move as an attempt to win a fresh public mandate and re-establish his hold on power after a plunge in his approval ratings last summer.
His Liberal Democratic Party won a large majority in the Oct. 22 vote. Together with a junior coalition partner, the Komei Party, it retained a two-thirds majority in the lower house.
The victory boosts Abe’s chances of being re-elected as LDP leader next September to a fresh three-year term, potentially extending his premiership to 2021.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.