The latest election polls released on Thursday in Japan indicate that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the main opposition, is currently on its way to a majority win on December 16th. Led by former prime minister Shinzo Abe, the LDP has already been expected to win for some time, returning to power for the first time since 2009, when its more than 50 years of rule was brought to an end by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).
While the LDP has been predicted to win the parliamentary election for some time, this is the first sign that a majority number of votes might be achieved. Previous indications seemed to be that no single party would earn a winning margin, and that a coalition would be necessary. Abe has stated he plans to further Japan’s nationalistic stance on past wartime issues, as well as with China and the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. His plan to fight the country’s persistent deflation and strong yen by exerting even more pressure on the Bank of Japan has been seen as questionable by many economists.
The current leading DPJ, which last stood with around 13% of voters’ support, is widely predicted by polls from several newspapers, including the Nikkei business daily and the Asahi, to lose the election by a significant margin, possibly even losing more than half the number of its seats in the Lower House. The newly formed parties struggling to become a “third force” in the election, mainly the Japan Restoration Party and Japan Future Party, are still waning with less than 10% of voter support at this time.
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