Voting has begun in the battle for Japan’s upper house, and the ruling Liberal Democrat LDP are expected to benefit from opposition disarray and the popularity of the prime minister to seize control.
If the LDP do triumph they will have both chambers of parliament, and a clear field in which to push through policy and an uncluttered three-year stretch in which to do it before the next elections.
“Nuclear power is the biggest issue on my
mind, and I believe they should be completely got rid of. So that’s what I thought of when voting,” said one woman.
While post-Fukushima worries may sway some voters, many are happy that Prime Minister Abe appears to have begun to reverse decades of economic decline, and they may choose to reward him.
However others fret that a Liberal Democrat landslide may embolden Abe to start being more nationalist and assertive, and start poking the Chinese bear next door with whom Japan has some territorial and trade disputes.