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Messy battle expected in Japan vote next month

Published on Nov 17, 2012 3:01 PM
Mr Yoshihiko Noda, Japan's prime minister, from left, Mr Osamu Fujimura, chief cabinet secretary, Mr Seiji Maehara, national strategy and economy minister, and Mr Koichiro Genba, foreign minister, attend a plenary session at the Lower House of Parliament in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Nov 16, 2012.

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's election next month will be messy, media said on Saturday, with more than a dozen parties fielding candidates and some of them trying to forge a "third pole" between the two largest camps.

Mr Yoshihiko Noda, Japan's sixth new prime minister in as many years, dissolved the lower house of parliament on Friday in a political gamble widely expected to strip his centre-left party of power.

Having had almost two-thirds of the 480 lower house seats when they came to power in 2009, mr Noda's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) had lost its majority by Friday morning as a number of lawmakers jumped ship as the vote nears.

Observers say no single party will have the numbers to govern alone after the election.

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