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Japan’s Kishida Suffers By-Election Setback Before National Vote

Updated on
  • Ruling LDP loses one of two upper house special votes
  • Kishida became PM this month, has tepid public support so far
Fumio Kishida
Fumio Kishida Photographer: Du Xiaoyi/Xinhua/Bloomberg

New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling party was dealt a blow when it lost one of two upper house special elections, which are serving as a barometer of support ahead of a national general election in a week. 

In a setback to the premier, opposition-backed Shinnosuke Yamazaki was projected by public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News as the winner in Sunday’s by-election in Shizuoka prefecture, beating the candidate from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Kishida had personally campaigned in the race, trying to keep a seat that had previously been held by the party.