Asia-Pacific

Shinzo Abe looking strong in Japan polls

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking a mandate for his decision to delay a sales tax increase until October 2019 in the July election.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will likely gain more than twice as many votes as the biggest opposition Democratic Party in the July 10 upper house election, newspaper surveys show.

Abe has delayed a sales tax increase by two-and-a-half years to October 2019, and said the LDP, along with its junior coalition partner the Komeito party, are aiming to win a majority of the 121 seats to seek a mandate for his decision.

The Democratic Party, however, said a constitutional revision should be a major issue for the election as Abe aspires to revise the US-drafted, pacifist constitution.

In a poll by the Asahi Shimbun daily, 38 per cent of those surveyed said they wanted to vote for the LDP in the proportional representation seats, compared with 15 per cent for the Democratic Party.

A similar survey by the Yomiuri Shimbun daily showed that 35 per cent of respondents intended to vote for the LDP, while 12 per cent for the Democratic Party.

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