Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party came away from Halloween with an unexpected treat. All 465 seats of the House of Representatives were up for grabs in Sunday’s elections, and predictions for the LDP were frightening. But the party lost only a handful of seats. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is now in a strong position to pursue tougher policies against threats from China and North Korea.
Even Mr. Kishida had been lowering expectations to suggest the ruling coalition may retain only a simple majority. Other experts predicted the loss of the majority and the end of Mr. Kishida’s tenure as prime minister. There was good reason for the pessimism. The usually splintered opposition parties worked together to a greater degree than in previous elections. The main opposition, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, was expected to gain seats; instead, it lost 13.