The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Dec 16, 2012
 

Japan votes in election seen returning LDP to power

 
 

TOKYO (REUTERS) - 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.

Polls opened at 0700 a.m. (6 am Singapore time) and will close at 8 p.m. (7 pm Singapore time), 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 power 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. However, many voters remained undecided just days before the vote, the polls showed.