Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party loses 1 of 2 Upper House by-polls

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost in one of two Upper House by-polls held ahead of the general elections this weekend but won the other. As two Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers resigned, the by-elections for vacant seats in the upper chamber of Parliament took place in the Yamaguchi and Shizuoka constituencies, as per reports.

The by-elections, which were the first national contests held since Prime Minister Kishida Fumio took office on October 4, were closely watched as a bellwether for the general election. Shinnosuke Yamazaki, who was supported by the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People, defeated the LDP's Yohei Wakabayashi with 650,789 votes to 602,780 votes in the Shizuoka constituency. The independent candidate is a former member of a prefectural assembly.

Tsuneo Kitamura, who was supported by the LDP's junior coalition partner Komeito, won the by-election in the Yamaguchi constituency.

"We won people's confidence in Yamaguchi but saw a disappointing result in Shizuoka. I would like to solemnly accept the judgment of people in (Shizuoka) prefecture," Kishida told reporters on Monday morning. "This is the result of an accumulation of various factors. We will thoroughly analyze them, brace ourselves and continue our efforts toward the House of Representatives election," Kishida said.

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