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Opposition LDP set to win solid majority in Japan election, show polls

Published on Dec 6, 2012 10:18 AM
Japan's main opposition Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) leader and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) raises his fist as he shouts, "Ganbaro" or fight, with other party candidates and supporters during his official campaign kick-off for the December 16 lower house election, in Fukushima, northern Japan December 4, 2012. Abe, who had a one-year stint as prime minister in 2006 and 2007, now has a chance to return if the LDP wins the most seats in elections expected in mid December.  -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) looks to be on course to win a solid majority on its own in the December 16 parliamentary election and return to power for the first time since 2009, media polls showed on Thursday.

Previous polls had the LDP relying on its ally, the small New Komeito party to control a majority in the lower house of parliament and form government. The LDP is now predicted to win between 257 and 306 seats in the 480-seat lower house.

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who heads the LDP and would likely take the top job again if they win, is calling for radical monetary easing by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to beat persistent deflation and a strong yen.

He has also vowed to stand tough against China on territorial issues over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

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