Messy battle expected in Japan vote next month
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.