Japan launches election campaign as support for ruling PLD wanes


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a press conference at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, October 14, 2021. Eugene Hoshiko / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo

TOKYO, Oct. 19 (Reuters) – Japan on Tuesday kicked off its first official campaign day ahead of the Oct. 31 general election, with a media poll showing support for ruling party easing, dealing a blow to the Prime Minister recently installed minister Fumio Kishida.

Kishida’s approval rating was 46%, according to a poll by public broadcaster NHK over the weekend, down three percentage points from the week before.

The same poll showed a four percentage point increase in the number of respondents who “would definitely go to the polls” from a week ago, with 56% of them now saying they would vote.

The main electoral issues will be the revitalization of the economy and the management of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kishida pledged that he would spread the benefits of economic growth more widely, echoing some criticism leveled against former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic plan, while prioritizing the management of the response to the crisis. coronavirus.

The opposition criticized the ruling coalition for failing to improve people’s livelihoods and protect them from the pandemic.

In keeping with the recent tradition of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Kishida’s first campaign speech will take place in Fukushima Prefecture, where a massive earthquake in 2011 caused a tsunami that crashed on the north coast. east, triggering a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant. .

Yukio Edano, leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, will begin his campaign in the conservative stronghold of Shimane Prefecture in southwestern Japan.

Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Lincoln Feast

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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