As noted previously Shinzo Abe Seeks Constitutional Changes for a More Militaristic, Authoritarian Japanese Society. Today’s question is: Will Abe Succeed?

The answer boils down to election math. Japan News shows 63 and 100 are crucial figures in upper house election.

click on chart for sharper image

Resolving the problems of the divided Diet and revising the Constitution depend on two key numbers–63 and 100.

The House of Councillors election this summer will determine whether the ruling bloc will wrest control of the Diet’s upper chamber from the opposition or whether the opposition bloc will retain dominance.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policy also will be put to a test in the election. If he wants to press ahead with his policies with little opposition, the ruling parties must gain 63 seats to win a simple majority in the upper house.

For the other major issue–revision of the Constitution–the ruling bloc needs to gain 100 seats to ensure a two-thirds majority, essential to move this issue forward.

The number of uncontested seats of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komeito in the House of Councillors is 59–50 LDP seats and nine for Komeito.

The upper house has 242 seats, so if the two parties win 63 seats in the upper house election, their combined total will be 122 seats. This will mean the ruling bloc will hold a simple majority in both houses, making it easier for the Abe administration to govern.

The uncontested seats of the four parties that support revising the Constitution–the LDP, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), Your Party and the New Renaissance Party–is 62. As a two-thirds majority of 162 seats is needed to move ahead with the revision process, the four parties need to win at least 100 seats.

If these parties can obtain the cooperation of Komeito, which has shown a cautious attitude toward constitutional amendment, the two-thirds hurdle will be cleared if they win 91 seats.

The House of Councillors (upper house) election is in July. Wikipedia explains …

The 23rd Elections to the House of Councillors for the upper house of the National Diet, the legislature of Japan, is expected to be held in July, 2013. The House of Councillors is elected by halves to six year terms. In 2013, the class of Councillors elected in 2007 will be up.

The House of Councillors outcome will determine just how crazy Japan is likely to get.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock