Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will not resign even though exit polls indicate a major election defeat for his party in the upper house of parliament.
Mr. Abe told a news conference today he accepts the results. But he said he will proceed with reforms and fulfill his responsibilities as prime minister.
Exit polls conducted by Japanese television indicate Mr. Abe's Liberal Democratic Party is far short of the 64 seats it needs to maintain a majority in the upper house.
Since taking office last September, Mr. Abe has been sharply criticized for his government's mishandling of pension records, and for a series of corruption scandals involving Cabinet members.
Mr. Abe's party controls Japan's lower house but a defeat in the upper house will make it harder to pass legislation and could pressure LDP members to choose a new leader.