The Latest: New opposition party struggles in Japan election
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Japan’s parliamentary election (all times local):
Media projections indicate a disappointing showing for a new Japanese opposition party that briefly excited voters.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK projected after polls closed Sunday that the Party of Hope would win 38 to 59 seats in the 465-seat lower house of parliament.
Party head Yuriko Koike called the results “very severe” in a televised interview from France. She is in Paris to attend a mayor’s conference as the governor of Tokyo.
Koike launched the Party of Hope the same week that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved parliament to force a snap election.
Exit polls indicate that Japanese voters have returned Prime Minster Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition to power in national elections.
Japanese media released result projections shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Abe dissolved the lower house less than a month ago, forcing the snap election. He judged that the timing was ripe for his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, or at least better than waiting until the end of its term next year.
Up for grabs were 465 seats in the more powerful lower house, which chooses the prime minister.