Japanese PM Naoto Kan is losing upper house control

Based on the recent exit polls in Japan, the ruling DPJ party of Naoto Kan, the current Japanese Prime Minister, will lose control of the upper house of parliament. Half of the upper house were being contested in Sunday’s election and there’s a total of 121 seats

In an election seen as a referendum on its 10-month rule, they suggested the DPJ would win just 47 of the contested seats. The DPJ held 62 seats not being contested and the projected 47 wins would leave it short of the 122 majority needed.

The DPJ still has a majority in the more powerful lower house but its ability to govern effectively has been challenged. With a majority in both houses, the DPJ went in the polls and will now need new allies.

The DPJ came to power last August, ending half a century of dominance by its main rivals, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party.

The election campaign was dominated by the prime minister’s suggestion that Japan needed to discuss the possibility of an increase in sales tax.