Shinzo Abe, head of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said Sunday that he will not consider a coalition with the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), if the LDP wins power in the Dec 16 general election.
Speaking on NHK, Abe—who is a former prime minister—said the LDP will work with its coalition partner, the New Komeito Party, and explore alliances with other parties, but said there are too many policy differences with the ruling DPJ. Abe said the LDP and DPJ differ on nuclear power, the consumption tax hike, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade talks and Japan’s right to collective self-defense.
“We have to take back Japan from the DPJ,” Abe said. “We need an economy that will grow. And we will create a Japan in which those born in this country will feel joy, and regain a nation in which our children will be proud to be born in Japan. The DPJ has had three years and has taken Japan off course.”
Most opinion polls project a comfortable victory for the LDP in the election. The LDP is tipped to win up to 306 of the 480 seats in lower house, with the projected tally representing a huge jump from the 118 seats the party currently has.
The New Komeito party is likely to win between 25 and 31 seats, which would give the LDP-New Komeito alliance a two-thirds majority in the lower house, and give them the right to overrule the DPJ-dominated upper house.