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Crushing defeat coming for LDP: Okinawa polls

Date Posted: 2009-08-27

The picture for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is somewhere between bleak and dismal as politicians study the latest poll results that predict a horrible defeat in Sunday’s House of Representatives election.

Telephonic surveys conducted August 20th ~ 22nd by local news media offered no hope for the beleaguered Liberal Democratic Party, with some observers going so far as to predict every local LDP candidate will lose on Sunday. The local trend is following the national polls, which show the opposition Democratic Party of Japan forging solid leads in virtually all districts.

Mikio Shimoji, who’s maintained popularity throughout his political career with the ruling party, as an independent, and now with the People’s New Party, has a solid lead in Okinawa’s First Election district. Konosuke Kokuba of the LDP trails, with Japan Communist Party candidate Hisako Hokama even farther behind.

Kantoku Teruya of the Socialist Party is leading the Second Election District, while Denny Tamaki of the Democratic Party of Japan holds the lead in the Third Election District. DPJ candidate Nagatoshi Zukeran leads the Fourth Election District with Kosaburo Nishime of the LDP lagging behind.

While polls show 40% of the electorate says it’s made no decision yet on who to vote for, the overall poll numbers more than hint that the LDP’s power is collapsing across the country. One survey shows the LDP will tumble from 300 current seats in the parliament to only 100.

What does a DPJ victory mean for Okinawa? Pollsters and politicians are touting major power shifts with the DPJ moving to national power, and predictions are beginning to filter out that the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station transfer to the Henoko area of northern Okinawa could become a political pawn as opponents press to make changes. The Democratic Party of Japan has already said it would close the controversial airfield, and not permit the new replacement airfield to be built on Camp Schwab and in nearby Oura Bay.

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