Kyodo News reported that its nationwide telephone survey conducted on Saturday and Sunday found that the ruling LDP enjoys a commanding lead in support in the runup to the House of Councillors election set for July 10. According to Kyodo, 27.3% of respondents said they will vote for the LDP in the proportional representation bloc in the upper house. The ruling party was followed by the Japan Innovation Party with 7.7% and the CDPJ with 7.0%. However, slightly more than one-third of voters have yet to decide on which party to vote for. Official campaigning begins on Wednesday. Voters will cast two ballots — one for electoral district representatives and one under proportional representation. In the election for the upper house where the LDP and its junior coalition partner Komeito currently has a majority, 125 of 248 seats will be contested.
According to Kyodo, the poll found the largest share, 42%, picked measures to boost economic recovery and cope with price rises as the most important issue in the election, with 79.6% saying the Kishida government has not taken adequate steps to curb rising living costs. Among other election issues, 16.2% said they will focus on each party’s pension, medical and nursing policies. Some 37.2% were in favor of raising the defense budget to 2% of the country’s GDP, while 31.5% saw no need to increase defense spending.