Japan minister fears ‘one-party dictatorship’ after vote

Japan’s Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano on Tuesday warned that the opposition party likely to score a landslide in weekend elections would create a “one-party dictatorship”.

His conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has ruled Japan almost without break since 1955, is widely expected to lose its grip on power to the centre-left opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) on Sunday.

“The DPJ is surging like angry waves all across Tokyo,” said the 71-year-old Tokyo-based lawmaker.

“With this trend, there is a likelihood that Parliament will fall into a one-party dictatorship.

“The situation is tough everywhere. My constituency is no exception,” he told a regular news conference.

Media polls have predicted that the DPJ will win a strong majority in the 480-seat House of Representatives. The conservative daily Sankei Shimbun forecast the DPJ could scoop up 300 seats.

Prime Minister Taro Aso urged his dispirited troops to campaign “without flinching”.

“Although the situation is reported to be tough, it is important to work hard until the end,” Aso told a Cabinet meeting. “Let us cooperate with each other and fight on without flinching.”

The finance minister, meanwhile, warned that his party must prepare for opposition. He said: “It is necessary for Parliament to have political parties, such as the LDP and others, which can play a role in putting the brakes” on the DPJ. — AFP

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