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Support sinks for Japanese PM

SUPPORT for Japan's prime minister fell and his long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party continued to trail behind the main opposition party, polls published yesterday showed, ahead of a general election due by October.

About 29 percent of respondents to a poll by broadcaster NHK said they supported Taro Aso, down 6 percentage points on a similar poll last month, after he flip-flopped on policy and rowed publicly with one of his ministers.

In a separate poll by the daily Yomiuri newspaper, 39.1 percent of respondents said they would vote for the main opposition Democrats in proportional representation districts for the next election, down slightly from May, but still higher than support for the LDP.

A victory by the Democratic Party would end five decades of nearly unbroken rule by the LDP and could break the political deadlock that has slowed policy-making in recession-hit Japan.

Of the 1,057 voters surveyed for the Yomiuri, 28.7 percent said they would vote for the LDP. The LDP is suffering from voter frustration over the recession and worries about social security costs.


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