The Straits Times
Published on Dec 06, 2012

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


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.