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Poll: Japan's opposition set for landslide victory

Poll: Japan's opposition set for landslide victory

Japan's main opposition party is set to secure a landslide victory against Prime Minister Taro Aso's ruling party by winning a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament in elections this weekend, a poll projected Thursday.
The Democratic Party of Japan will likely win 320 of the 480 seats in the powerful lower house being contested in Sunday's elections, according to the Asahi, a major newspaper. The party, headed by Yukio Hatoyama, had 112 seats in the lower house before parliament was dissolved in July.
Aso's Liberal Democratic Party, which held 300 seats before the elections, is now set for a crushing defeat. The Asahi poll said it is likely to win just 100 seats.
The Asahi said it randomly polled 190,338 eligible voters by telephone from Aug. 22 to 25. It did not provide a margin of error, but a poll of that size would normally have a margin of error of less than one percentage point.
An opposition victory would allow the Democratic Party to unseat the Liberal Democrats, who have governed Japan since 1955 with the exception of one period of less than a year in 1993-1994. Hatoyama would likely become prime minister if his party wins control of the lower house.
Other recent polls have also projected that the opposition party would win more than 300 seats.
Aso's party has watched its support plummet because of the fragile economy, increasing unemployment, a perceived lack of leadership and its support of higher taxes. Aso, who is party president, is widely seen as a weak leader, with recent polls showing his support rating at less than 20 percent.
Hatoyama's opposition party was founded and is run by defectors from the Liberal Democrats, so both sides share broadly conservative stances on major issues. But if the Democratic Party wins and keeps its campaign promises, some of Japan's most established policies would be re-examined.
Among those is the country's relationship with Washington. The party has long accused the Liberal Democrats of serving as yes-men to the U.S., especially in supporting its military actions, and has sworn to take a harder line in negotiations.
It also has promised not to raise the consumption tax for four years, despite a host of costly domestic programs including handouts for farmers and families with children.
In 2007, the Democratic Party won control of the less powerful upper house but has never controlled the lower house or Cabine
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Updated : 2021-05-12 13:23 GMT+08:00