Japan moves right as conservatives win big in polls
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's conservative opposition swept to victory in national polls on Sunday, giving former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a second chance to promote his hawkish security agenda and reflate the economy.
Voters decisively abandoned Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda three years after his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) promised a change from more than half a century of almost unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
Mr Abe, who spent the campaign pledging to bolster Japan's defences and stand up to China over disputed islands, secured a handsome majority for the LDP in the election for the powerful lower house of parliament, exit polls showed.
Mr Abe, whose brief stint as premier in 2006-7 ended ignominiously, has also vowed to rectify the listless economy after years of deflation, made worse by a soaring currency that has squeezed exporters.