TOKYO — The Japanese voters who on Sunday will elect a new government are loyal to no party and frustrated with each of the recent leaders to hold power. They are political pessimists facing a choice among a ruling party with an approval rating in the teens, an unreformed opposition party that was booted out only three years ago and a raft of minor parties formed in pre-election haste.
Polls conducted by Japan’s mainstream media suggest that the opposition giant, the Liberal Democratic Party , will easily return to power after this general election, which will award seats in the lower house of parliament. The LDP, political analysts say, has emerged in recent months as Japan’s least objectionable party. With a support rate of 26 percent, it is by far the country’s most popular one.
Analysts say the broad political discontent stems from the two-decade failure among Japan’s politicians to rejuvenate the economy, curb the national debt and reverse deflation. Though disillusionment here about politics is nothing new, the sentiment has intensified recently as the current government struggles to contend with China in an intense territorial dispute and as the major parties show little interest in following the anti-nuclear wishes held by the majority of the Japanese population.