Japanese PM Enters Election Campaign with Large Margins - International Buzz | Financial Buzz

Japanese PM Enters Election Campaign with Large Margins

Japan, Democratic Party, Shinzo AbeShinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, enters the electoral fray with a substantial lead even when there is shrinking popular support due to his economic policies. A number of polls conducted by Japanese newspapers revealed.

Liberal Democratic Party

Approximately one-third of the surveyed population gave the answer that they would vote for Abe’s party-the Liberal Democratic Party – in elections scheduled to be held on December 14. This figure is thrice the support garnered by Democratic Party of Japan, the principal opposition group.

The Asahi Shimbun poll also revealed that the Abe cabinet’s latest approval rating continued to stay low at 39 percent, unchanged from the previous survey. This Nikkei poll displayed that about 51 percent of voters did not approve of efforts by Mr. Abe to pull Japanese economy out f the clutches of deflation.

These results reveal that the prime minister, who is 60 years old, has a fragile support base. The Prime Minister’s efforts to shore up the last two years resulted in an increase of profits of large companies while the ordinary voters continued to complain about the lack of sharing of benefits.

Contraction of the economy

The economy of Japan, the third biggest economy in the world contracted during the period extending from July to September. This surprised a number of economists who had predominantly expected modest expansion. Consumer spending went down by increase in consumption tax to about eight percent from five percent in April.

Prime Minister Abe took the step of dissolving parliament lower house during the third week of November and gave a speech to the nation that he did so as he wanted the approval of the public when it came to the decision of postponing a second increase in sales tax. This tax was supposed to increase to 10 percent next October, but the Prime Minister pushed the date back by one and half years due to disappointing economic data.

Japan’s total debt is at present twice the country’s economic size. According to analysts, Japan needs to prop up the fiscal position. However with the consumer sentiment continuing to be weak, the postponement of increase in tax can hardly be deemed an unpopular move.

This election will also benefit Abe, on the assumption that he will be the winner, after another chance to revamp his cabinet, post the number of scandals which followed September’s previous reshuffle.

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