Update: Voting under way for Japan’s lower house election, ‘Abenomics’ a focus

TOKYO, Dec. 14 (PNA/Kyodo) — Voting began Sunday for Japan’s lower house election, touted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a referendum on his “Abennomics” economic policies and his steering of the government since his return to power in 2012.

Pre-election media polls have pointed to a clear victory for Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, as opposition parties have struggled to convince Japanese voters they are credible alternatives to the powerful LDP-Komeito coalition that controlled both houses of parliament prior to the election.

An LDP victory would enable the prime minister to persist with Abenomics — a combination of aggressive monetary easing, fiscal stimulus, and growth-oriented strategies — to boost the deflation-mired economy and prepare for a second consumption tax hike in 2017. (PNA/Kyodo)