Polls open in Japanese parliamentary election


TOKYO – Polls have opened in Japan's nationwide parliamentary election.

Opinion polls have overwhelmingly predicted that the opposition Democratic Party of Japan will unseat the conservative and long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a landslide.

Key issues in the 12-day election campaign have been Japan's battered economy, its rapidly aging population and the rising national debt.

The opposition Democrats have said they will make Japan's diplomacy less centered on the country's traditional ally the United States while still upholding Tokyo's alliance with Washington.

Up for grabs are all 480 seats in parliament's powerful lower house. The last election for the body was in 2005.

Polls close at 8 p.m. Sunday (1100 GMT, 7 a.m. EDT).