TOKYO Nov 16 The Japanese parliament's lower
house was dissolved for a Dec. 16 election on Friday that
opinion polls suggest will return the long-dominant Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) to power with a conservative former
prime minister at the helm.
Political experts worry former Prime Minister and head of
the LDP Shinzo Abe, who polls suggest will be the next premier,
will further fray ties with China, already chilled by a
territorial row over a group of islands.
Few expect the election, three years after a historic
victory swept the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to power for
the first time, to resolve a policy stalemate that has plagued
the economy as it struggles with an ageing population and
security challenges due to China's rapid rise.