Japan opposition surges in poll ahead of election

Japan’s main opposition has a 10-point lead over the ruling party, a poll showed Thursday — the first snapshot of voter sentiment since Prime Minister Taro Aso dissolved parliament this week.

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan’s approval rating rose to 40 percent, up three points from earlier in the month, the Nikkei newspaper said.

Opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama was regarded as the man most qualified to become the next prime minister among 28 percent of Nikkei poll participants, while only nine percent said the same of Aso.

However, 57 percent of survey respondents said neither Aso nor Hatoyama was suited to become the next premier.

Support for Aso’s Liberal Democratic Party rose one point to 30 percent from the previous poll, the business daily said.

The cabinet’s approval rating fell one point to 20 percent, it said.

Ratings for Aso, who came to power in September, have plummeted due to his gaffes and policy flip-flops, while the opposition party has gained momentum despite its own scandals involving political funds.

Aso called lower house general elections on August 30, with analysts broadly predicting a victory for the opposition.



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