Opposition party set for landslide win in Japan polls

Tokyo, Aug 30 (DPA) Japan looked set for a change in government Sunday as the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) seemed to secure a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives.

Voting in Japan’s general elections ended Sunday evening, with initial exit polls pointing to a landslide victory for the DPJ. Polls indicated the party might gain more than 300 seats in the 480-seat lower chamber.

Only half an hour into the vote count, with 247 seats left unallocated, DPJ had garnered 176 seats, while the ruling LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) secured 42. New Komeito, a coalition partner to the LDP, had nine seats.

Currently, the DPJ has only 112 seats. It already controls the upper house of parliament.

Such a win would end more than 50 years of rule by Prime Minister Taro Aso’s Liberal Democratic Party.

A DPJ win would mean 62-year-old party chief Yukio Hatoyama is set to become the next prime minister.

The DPJ vowed to cut wasteful spending and revitalise the world’s second-largest economy by increasing household incomes and encouraging spending. However, it has offered little detail on how it would fulfill its promises.

Hatoyama said he plans to review the current government’s record-high stimulus package. His party’s manifesto promises to raise monthly child allowances for children and to scrap both expressway tolls and gasoline taxes as part of its plan to stimulate consumer spending.