Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan’s Democratic Party looks to have suffered a major blow in Sunday’s upper house election.
According to exit polls, the DPJ and its coalition partner are set to lose their combined majority.
Such a result could cost Kan his job – although he only took over as Japan’s fifth premier in as many years last month.
The economy, particularly Japan’s huge public debt dominated campaigning. The DPJ’s poll ratings bounced after Kan’s appointment but quickly sagged again when he raised the thorny issue of tax rises to tackle the countries economic woes.
Although the coalition has a majority in the lower house, losing control in the upper chamber would complicate government efforts to forge ahead with fiscal reforms many see as vital to avoid a Greek style debt crisis.