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Japan general election underway

  • Voting kicked off on Sunday for Japan’s general election where former leader Shinzo Abe is challenging current Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda.

    Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected to beat Noda's Democratic Party (DPJ) after just three years in office.

    Abe has pledged higher public spending and firmer foreign policy as tensions with China rise.

    His center-right LDP was defeated by the DPJ in 2009, ending more than 50 years of almost unbroken rule.

    The DPJ has promised more welfare spending but failed to counter the economic downturn and last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

    It has also seen numerous leadership changes. Yoshihiko Noda is the third DPJ prime minister since 2009.

    Polls opened at 7am local time and are due to close at 8pm.