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Japan's political parties sprint to upper house election

English.news.cn   2013-07-20 19:02:34            

TOKYO, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Japanese political parties made their last efforts on Saturday to seek public supports of voters on the last day of campaigning for Sunday's election of the House of Councillors, the upper house.

According to documents released by the nine parties that will vie in the upcoming election, the total distance traveled by the parties'leaders reached 110,000 km during their campaigning that started on July 4, reported local media.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also the president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), traveled 19,368 km and visited 36 of Japan's 47 prefectures through Friday, highlighting his economic policies that he believes can revive the country's sluggish economy.

The prime minister said Saturday at the Yamagata Prefecture that his economic policies that dubbed "Abenomics" are "right on track," saying the country is "on the cusp of economic recovery," Japan's Kyodo News quoted Abe as saying.

On Friday in Mie prefecture, Abe also vowed to revitalize Japan' s economy to defeat the country's prolonged deflation. "I will ensure stable economy growth," said Abe.

Along with its ruling partner, the New Komeito Party, the LDP aims to win a majority in the upper house to put an end to the " divided Diet" that the opposition parties now remain the majority in the chamber, while the ruling camp holds an overwhelming majority in the more powerful lower house.

Half of the 242 seats in the upper house come up for election every three years and a total of 433 individuals have filed for candidacy with the 121 seats at stake this time.

The LDP and the New Komeito Party have to secure 63 seats to win a majority in the chamber, as they already hold 59 seats that will not be contested this time.

A recent poll conducted by the Kyodo News showed that the ruling camp could secure about 70 seats in Sunday's election, meaning that the camp will obtain a majority in the upper house so as to better implement their policies.

For the opposition parties, they are struggling to grab more votes to stop the LDP's momentum as they are seeing a potential dominance in Japan's politics by the LDP.

Banri Kaieda, chief of the major opposition party Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), criticized that Abe's economic policies have resulted in hike of people's living costs. "We can not leave our politics in the hands of Abe," Kaieda was quoted as saying on Saturday at Hiroshima.

The DPJ was defeated by the LDP in the lower house election last December and was ousted from its three-year ruling position. The party, now as the largest party in the upper house, maintains 86 seats in the chamber, only 3 seats more than those the LDP holds.

Toru Hashimoto, co-head of Japan Restoration Party, also said that the opposition can not let one party grow bigger and bigger, saying Japan needs a new opposition to replace the DPJ so as to better block the LDP.

According to the Kyodo poll that covered 44,000 voters across the country, the DPJ is likely to see its 44 contested seats halved, while Hashimoto's party would secure only six seats in the election.

The survey also showed that Your Party would gain about seven seats and the Social Democratic Party would only get one. The Japanese Communist Party might win seats in Tokyo and Osaka and several seats in proportional representations, said the survey.

The People's Life Party and the Green Wind Party may not gain any seat, according to the poll.

The upper house election polling will kick off at 7 a.m. Sunday in more than 48,000 polling stations nationwide and the stations will close at 8 p.m. in the day.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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