Japan PM party takes big election hit – exit polls

TOKYO, July 11 (BestGrowthStock) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto
Kan’s Democratic Party suffered a major blow in Sunday’s upper
house election, exit polls showed, threatening efforts to curb
massive public debt and putting his own job at risk.

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and its tiny partner, the
People’s New Party, were set to lose their combined majority in
the upper house, the polls showed.

The Democrats were expected to win just 47 seats, far short
of Kan’s goal of winning all 54 seats that the party had up for
grabs, leaving him vulnerable to a challenge from inside his own
party.

The Democrats, who have relied on the People’s New Party to
control the upper house, will almost certainly stay in power by
virtue of their majority in parliament’s lower house.

But they will need to seek new partners to control the upper
chamber, complicating policymaking as Japan struggles to engineer
growth and rein in public debt nearly twice the size of GDP.

The Democrats swept to power last year promising to cut waste
and focus spending on consumers to boost growth. Public backing
nosedived due to indecisive leadership and while government
ratings rose when Kan took over last month, they slipped after he
floated a rise in the 5 percent sales tax to help rein in debt.
(Reporting by Linda Sieg and Yoko Nishikawa; Editing by John
Chalmers and Rodney Joyce)

Japan PM party takes big election hit – exit polls