Saturday, August 29, 2009

Candidates Wrap up Campaigning on Eve of Japan Elections

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso shakes hands with supporters as he leaves a final-day campaign rally in Kamakura, near Tokyo, 29 Aug 2009
Candidates across Japan made their final appeals to voters Saturday on the eve of an election that could bring a sweeping victory for the opposition and break the ruling party's decades-long grip on power.
-long grip on power.

Prime Minister TaroA
Prime Minister Taro Aso asked voters in Tokyo to give his Liberal Democratic Party more time in office to complete economic reforms aimed at pulling Japan out of a deep recession.

Rival Yukio Hatoyama, head of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, traveled to western Japan to urge voters to support change.

The LDP has controlled Japan's parliament almost without interruption since 1955. But some analysts say the DPJ could win as many as 300 of the 480 seats at stake in Sunday's vote.

A win for the DPJ in the elections for the lower house of parliament could make Hatoyama Japan's next prime minister.

The latest unemployment figures in Japan do nothing to improve the chances for the ruling party. Japan's unemployment rate climbed to a post-war high of 5.7 percent in July.


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