Japan Election: Party Leaders Make Final Efforts, Ruling LDP Likely To Lose Seats


Tokyo: The leaders of Japan’s major parties made their final forays on the campaign trail a day ahead of an election where the focus will be on how much of a hit the ruling party will take.

Voters in Japan will head to the polls on Sunday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s party fighting to save its majority in the lower house, amid frustration over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic as well as worsening economic inequality.

Prior to the dissolution of parliament for Sunday’s vote, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had 276 seats in the 465-member chamber, while its coalition partner Komeito had 29.

Polling indicates Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party will lose seats in the election for the powerful lower house and could also fail to keep the single-handed majority it has held in the body for the past nine years.

A fall from the majority status would be a blow for Kishida, but his LDP is expected to retain control of government with its junior coalition partner Komeito, providing enough seats for the group to stay in power.

The election winner will have to work on helping an economy that likely shrank over the summer due to a Covid surge and supply bottlenecks, according to estimates by several economists.

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