Tokyo, Dec 11, 2014: Japan is holding the election of its lower House of Parliament or the Diet on coming Sunday, December 14 amid tough competition. As the election is fast approaching, its fever has gripped Japan and the election is seemed to be highly competitive.
Various political parties including the ruling ones which have been contending in the elections have been intensified the election campaigning ahead of the DecemberÂ 14 election and have been doing their best to woo the voters and secure more and more seats in the lower house. Japan’s lower house got dissolved last months.
Citing that situation has come to go for a new people’s mandate, Japanese Prime Minister Sinjo Abe decided to dissolve the DietÂ last December 21 and announced the fresh elections. Stating that programmes related to economic development and tax system introduced by the Japanese Government earlier failed to get a success, the Japanese PM called for the fresh lower house elections in the need of his clear majority there.
He officially kicked off the election campaigning from the northern Japanese city that lies around 40 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was sent into meltdown by the 2011 tsunami.Â “We are determined to win but the election is still highly competitive,â€ the Japanese PM told to the voters while formally launching the election campaigning.Â He promised to make the country shinny once again in the world by winning the lower house election again. Of late, he had been facing difficulty to adopt the policy of sale tax.
More than 1,180 candidates nationwide have been vying for 475 seats in the powerful lower house of the Diet in Japan.
The opposition party – Democratic Party of Japan – has made the rising inflation, non-increment in the salary of employees and labourers in comparison to rising prices and the failure of Prime Minister Abe’s economic policy as its election agenda.
Leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, Ban Ri, referring to the economic policy pursued by the incumbent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said the ‘Abenomics’ brought further bad days to the Japanese economy. He said his party will win a majority in this election.
Prime Minister Abe called a mid-term poll when still two years remain for him to complete his term in office. Abe introduced a new economic policy aimed at reviving the flagging economy in his latest stint as the Prime Minister popularly known as ‘Abenomics’.
However, it is stated that Japan is reeling under economic recession since some time.
Abe, who reached to power on the promise of introducing economic development programmes, has said that it has not been possible for him to carry out works as desired by him from the current Parliament. He has explained that the mid-term election was required to bail Japan out of recession.
On the other hand, the pre-election surveys indicate that Abe’s party is likely to garner landslide votes. Most of the pre-election surveys show this.
Results of an election survey published last Thursday by Japan’s state news agency Kyodo and Ashahi Shimbun, a popular newspaper show that Prime Minister Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party will win 300 of the 475 seats in the Diet, the lower House of the Japanese Parliament. The same survey results indicate the current opposition party will make slight progress increasing its seats from the present 62 to 70.
The ruling coalition of Liberal Democratic Party of Japan of Prime Minister Abe had won 295 seats in the 2012 general elections.
The Japanese media has been giving a prominent place to the election through editorials and commentaries. The media is also seen to be siding with either the ruling or the opposition parties.
Chairman of the Japan Foreign Press Centre, Kiyotaka Akasaka also acknowledges this latest trend seen from the political perspective in the Japan media.Â “Compared to the previous elections, this time around the papers are seen advocating for and against the parties, which is true,” he said.
Nearly 95 million Japanese are of the eligible age for voting in this election. However, it is estimated that the voter turn out would be slightly more than 50 per cent.
As per the latest unofficial count, Japan’s total population is 127.6 million. The Japanese population is on the declining trend of late. Some 40 per cent of the population is aged above 65 years. The declining birth rate is a problem for Japan as the population of the youths is decreasing.
By: Yek Raj Pathak