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Japan votes in election seen returning LDP to power after three-year hiatus

Published on Dec 16, 2012 7:18 PM
 
An elderly woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Tokyo Dec 16, 2012. Japan voted on Sunday in an election expected to return the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to power after a three-year hiatus, giving ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a chance to push his hawkish security agenda and radical economic recipe. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese voters streamed to polling stations on Sunday in an election expected to return the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to power after a three-year hiatus, giving ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a chance to push his hawkish security agenda and radical economic recipe.

Polls opened at 7am (6am Singapore Time) and will close at 8pm when major TV broadcasters will issue exit polls forecasting  results.

An LDP win would usher in a government committed to a tough stance in a territorial row with China, a pro-nuclear energy policy despite last year's Fukushima disaster and a potentially risky prescription for hyper-easy monetary policy and big fiscal spending to beat deflation and tame a strong yen.

Media surveys have forecast the LDP will win a big majority in parliament's powerful 480-seat lower house, just three years after a devastating defeat that ended more than 50 years of almost non-stop rule by the business-friendly party.

 
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