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Polls: Japan ruling party landslide in coming vote

December 4, 2014

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s ruling party may be headed toward an even larger-than-anticipated victory in upcoming national elections, according to major media polls published Thursday.

The Liberal Democratic Party could take more than 300 of the 475 seats in Japan’s lower house election on Dec. 14, Japan’s major newspapers and Kyodo news service said, based on voter surveys each did.

A resounding victory could help Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tackle politically difficult issues such as opening up Japan’s agriculture markets and restarting nuclear power plants.

Abe’s Liberal Democrats had 295 seats in the lower house before he dissolved it last month to force a snap election. His party and coalition partner Komeito are widely expected to win the election, but many analysts have been predicting that they would lose some seats.

The polls indicate they will at least retain their large majority and possibly even build on it. However, many voters are still undecided, so the results could be different.

The largest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, would win about 70 seats, Kyodo said in its projection, about a 10-seat gain but short of its goal of 100.

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