Japan opposition keeps lead ahead of poll -survey
Support for Japan's main opposition Democratic Party continued to grow in opinion polls published on Monday, a day before unpopular Prime Minister Taro Aso is expected to dissolve the lower house for an August 30 election, Reuters reported.
An Asahi newspaper survey showed that 42 percent of respondents planned to vote for the Democrats, up five points from the last survey in early July, while 19 percent will vote for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, down three points.
A victory by the Democrats would end more than 50 years of almost unbroken rule by the business-friendly LDP and improve the chances of resolving a policy deadlock caused by a divided parliament.
Support for Aso fell to 17 percent in both Asahi and Mainichi newspaper polls, down three points from the Asahi's last survey in July and a two-point fall from Mainichi's last survey in June.
The polls come after weeks of chaos within the LDP. Some LDP rebels took moves to oust Aso after he announced last week his plans for an August 30 general election, but the premier now looks set to keep his job after party heavyweights stepped in.
In the Mainichi survey, 28 percent of the respondents opted for Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama as premier, while 11 percent preferred Aso. But 57 percent said that neither were suited to lead the country.