Japan's rulers win in low poll

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The Independent Online
Tokyo (Reuter) - Japan's ruling conservatives won a national election yesterday, but their triumph was soured by a record abstention of half of the country's 93.8 million voters.

The 37-year rule of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was not at stake in the elections, held to renew half the seats in the 252- member Upper House plus one recently vacated. The Central Election Commission said the LDP won 68 and its centrist allies 17 of the 127 seats being contested. With about 97 per cent of the vote counted, there was only one undecided seat left.