Ruling Party cruising to electoral victory

Japan’s general election will not be held until next Sunday, October 22, but the implosion of the leading opposition party virtually guarantees another lopsided win for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, with the only real question being the scale of the victory.

For a brief period about ten days ago, it appeared that Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike would be able to mount a truly threatening challenge to the Abe government, with a reasonably good chance of toppling the prime minister. However, a series of major mistakes by Ms. Koike and her Party of Hope have completely reversed the momentum, and her challenge has faded sharply. Mr. Abe will cruise to a victory by default.

Hiroyuki Hosoda and Takeshi Iwaya, the two leading sponsors of IR legislation within the House of Representatives, also appear safely on track toward reelection, according to the polls.

Many candidates of the opposition Party of Hope and, especially, the Osaka-based Japan Innovation Party, are also advocates of the IR legislation. Therefore, while public opinion in Japan remains strongly opposed to the establishment of casinos within the country, the nation’s legislature will certainly include far more advocates than opponents whatever the precise number of seats the various political parties gain on Sunday.

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