Campaigning Kicks Off for Japan Lower House By-Elections
Tokyo, April 9 (Jiji Press)--Campaigning started Tuesday for two by-elections for Japan's House of Representatives on April 21, with the ruling and opposition parties both resolved to win the polls in the run-up to the House of Councillors election in summer, regarded as the biggest political event in the country this year.
The by-elections for the lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, will be the first national elections since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won his third straight three-year term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in September last year.
The poll in the No. 12 constituency in the western prefecture of Osaka is expected to be a fierce battle among four candidates.
The election in the No. 3 constituency in the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa will likely be a one-on-one match between an LDP candidate and a candidate backed by main opposition parties.
Depending on their results, the by-elections may affect Abe's current dominant power in the political world, pundits said. Another focus is whether opposition parties will be able to boost their presence by cooperating effectively to counter the ruling camp of the LDP and Komeito ahead of the triennial Upper House election in summer.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]