Japan Polls: No clear winner seen
Polls show that nearly half of the electorate is undecided on which party to support but it's clear that the ruling Democrats – in power for the last three years – are very likely to lose. That sets the stage for Japan to get its seventh prime minister in seven years.
Media reports say the elections will be held Dec. 16.
Although the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which led Japan for most of the post-World War II era, would win the most seats in the 480-seat lower house, it would fall far short of a majority if elections were held now, according to the polls.
With no party a clear winner, Japan will end up with a coalition government made up of parties with differing policies and priorities. This could hinder decision-making as Japan wrestles with a two-decade economic slump, cleanup from last year's nuclear disaster, growing national debt and a rapidly aging population – not to mention a festering territorial dispute with China that is hurting business ties with its biggest trading partner.
“It's unlikely that the election will result in a clear mandate for anybody,'' said Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Sophia University. ``So in that sense, there's still going to be a lot