Japan’s leading opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner, the New Komeito, are now expected to win as many as two-thirds of the number of seats in Parliament’s Lower House come the December 16th election. This comes from the most recent survey conducted by the Kyodo news agency, which polled over 60,000 voters, and indicates a possible end to Japan’s enduring policy deadlock.
The Kyodo survey showed that the LDP, led by former prime minister Shinzo Abe, could take as many as 295 of the 480 Lower House seats. The New Komeito, a long-time ally, will most likely win 30 seats. As the Upper House is not controlled by a single party, a two-thirds majority by the coalition would give the Lower House the ability to override the legislation-blocking Upper.
Abe, who served as premier in 2006 but abruptly quit after one year due to health reasons, has made pledges to put more pressure on the Bank of Japan to ease its monetary policy and fight deflation, a move which many economic analysts have called “reckless.” As well as increase Japan’s armed forces, including turning the Self-Defense Force (SDF) into a national military, all in the name of taking a stronger stance against China and its territorial dispute in the East China Sea.
But what might be most indicative of the Japanese public’s current political outlook is that Kyodo’s poll shows nearly 40% of voters are still undecided, and that’s with only three days to go until the election.