The Latest: Exit polls show Abe's ruling bloc wins elections

A voter looks at a list of candidates before casting her ballot in the upper house elections at a polling station in Tokyo Sunday, July 21, 2019. Voting started Sunday morning for the upper house elections where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition is seen to retain majority, according to local media report. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Exit polls show Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition is certain to secure the majority of 124 seats contested in upper house elections

TOKYO — The Latest on Japanese upper house elections (all times local):

8:25 p.m.

Exit polls show Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition is certain to secure the majority of 124 seats contested in upper house elections.

Japanese media released result projections shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Public broadcaster NHK says Abe's ruling bloc is sure to win 63 seats, and may reach the two-thirds super majority needed to propose a constitutional revision.

Abe hopes to gain enough seats to boost chances for revising the constitution, his long-cherished goal before his term ends in 2021.

Sunday's election was for the less powerful of Japan's two parliamentary chambers. The upper house does not choose the prime minister.

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10:30 a.m.

Japanese are voting in an election for the upper house of parliament, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc is expected to keep the majority.

Up for grabs Sunday are 124 seats in the less powerful of Japan's two chambers that doesn't choose the prime minister.

Media polls have indicated Abe's ruling bloc is expected to keep the majority as most voters consider it as a safer choice over an opposition with uncertain track records.

Opposition parties have focused on concerns over household finances, such as the impact from an upcoming sales tax increase and strains on the public pension system amid an aging population.

Abe hopes to gain enough seats to boost chances for a constitutional revision, his long-cherished goal before his term ends in 2021.

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