If the opinion polls are correct, today’s election in Japan will be long remembered in the history books.
The winds of change look to be blowing after more than half a century of virtual one-party rule. Voter surveys say the ballot box will give the untested opposition the reins of power, possibly with a landslide. If that is so, Taro Aso’s time as prime minister is about to end. But that prospect did not stop him giving his all in a final campaign rally in Tokyo. Aso has been trying to persuade voters that only his experienced conservatives can help Japan overcome its economic woes. But many accuse his LDP of creating the problems in the first place. Hence the emergence of Yukio Hatoyama as Aso’s likely replacement. The leader of the centrist opposition Democrats, he has pledged to increase welfare spending and take control of policy from Japan’s bureaucrats.