Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to speed up disaster reconstruction as he kicked off the campaign for parliamentary elections during a visit to Fukushima.

Mr. Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner are expected to gain a majority of the 242 seats in the less powerful upper house through the July 21 election. That would give them control of both houses of parliament, making it easier to pass legislation.

Mr. Abe said on Thursday he needed voter support to overcome gridlock and speed up economic measures and reconstruction after the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disasters.

Some 150,000 people remain displaced from subsequent meltdowns at a Fukushima nuclear plant.

Mr. Abe’s Cabinet has enjoyed relatively high approval ratings since taking office in December amid optimism over his “Abenomics” economic revival program.

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