Liberal Democratic Party presidential candidates pose before a press conference in Tokyo on Friday ahead of the ruling party's September 29 election to choose a successor for outgoing LDP president and prime minister Yoshihide Suga. Candidates have used hostile rhetorics to make an issue out of China. Photo: AFP
Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is likely to lose seats in the House of Representatives in Sunday's general election but it will maintain a majority together with its coalition partner Komeito, a survey by local media revealed Wednesday.
According to the survey, the LDP may fail to retain all of its 276 seats in the 465-seat lower chamber of parliament ahead of the election, while the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) is seeking to add its seats to 110.
Together with Komeito, however, the alliance could win over 261 seats, which would be enough for them to effectively control all standing committees in the lower house and promote their legislative agenda forward.
In the survey, around 119,000 eligible voters were polled by phone from Saturday to Tuesday, about 40 percent of whom said they had not yet made their decision in the single-member district portion of the election, leaving the result still possible to change, according to the local media.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took office less than a month ago, is expected to claim a mandate for his COVID-19 and economic policies with LDP's majority with Komeito. There will be little change to the cabinet lineup if voters decide to keep the current government, he said in a TV appearance on Tuesday.
"Just a small momentum shift could mean losing a lot of seats," he said in a news program on Tuesday night. "It could also mean winning in a landslide. We have to stay on our toes every day."
Kishida said in the program that he plans to keep the members of his cabinet unchanged in principle. "We just got started the other day. I need them to get to work." The government hopes to get the Diet's approval for a supplementary budget within the year to fund a COVID-19 stimulus package, he said.
Meanwhile, the left-leaning CDPJ in alliance with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) and other opposition groups is ahead in more than 50 single-member districts, but it will need to win in battleground constituencies.
Komeito could end up with more than the 29 seats it held, while the JCP could also add to its 11 seats.