local vote which could spell trouble nationally for Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's LDP Party suffering a humiliating defeat in Tokyo on Sunday, reduced to just 23 seats in the city's Parliament. Governor Yuriko Koike and her allies, locking down power with 79. Tokyo city elections historically show, what Japan's voter's really think.
And as writers, Linda Sieg reports, the latest vote is no different.>> It would appear that, there was a sense among many voters that, the Abe administration, has grown complacent. If not, in fact, arrogant. I think Japanese voters, probably voters everywhere don't appreciate when their leaders appear to think that they have an unchallenged mandate and can do whatever they want.
>> Many view this election as a referendum on Abe's somewhat tumultuous four and a half years in office. He's been dogged by a favoritism scandal but insists he'll work to regain public trust. He's expected to do just that by firing top staff, a tried and true tactic in Japan but which runs the risk of backfiring.
>> He will now have to get rid of unpopular or gaffe prone cabinet members. The problem will be finding people who are not gaffe prone, who have sufficient knowledge of their portfolios, and are not later found to be involved in some new scandal.>> After Sunday, Abe's party rivals may be encouraged to make a run at his job, and the solid loss in Tokyo may take his dreams of reform further out of reach, as for Governor Koike who's stratospheric rise continues.
Once a member of Abe's party, his media savvy, former minister, has risen up on a platform of reform. And her latest victory only fuels talk should leverage that popularity to mounted challenge for Japan's top job.