Japan public backs PM Kan vs Ozawa by wide margin - poll

TOKYO Mon Sep 6, 2010 10:59am IST

Japanese ruling party powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa (L) shakes hands with Prime Minister Naoto Kan at a campaign for Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leadership vote in Tokyo September 4, 2010. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Japanese ruling party powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa (L) shakes hands with Prime Minister Naoto Kan at a campaign for Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leadership vote in Tokyo September 4, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Related Topics

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of Japanese voters prefer Prime Minister Naoto Kan to powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa as premier, media polls showed on Monday ahead of a Sept. 14 ruling party leadership race that appears too close to call.

The winner of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leadership election is likely to be prime minister by virtue of the party's majority in the powerful lower house and will have to cope with a strong yen, fragile economic recovery and deep structural woes.

DPJ members of parliament, local lawmakers and party members and supporters will take part in the race, which highlights a policy rift that could derail Kan's efforts to curb a public debt already twice the size of the $5 trillion economy.

An Asahi newspaper survey found that 65 percent of respondents said Kan was more appropriate as prime minister, against 17 percent who backed Ozawa. A poll by the Yomiuri newspaper showed a similar result.

That gap widened among those who said they support the DPJ, with 73 percent in the Asahi poll saying that Kan was more appropriate as the country's leader against 20 percent who supported Ozawa.

Domestic media say Ozawa, a 68-year-old political mastermind plagued by a scandal-tainted image, currently has a slight edge among 412 members of parliament from the DPJ, which swept to power for the first time a year ago.

But the opinion polls could affect undecided MPs as well as local lawmakers and rank-and-file party members, among whom media say Kan has an edge.

Support for Kan's government jumped to 49 percent in the Asahi survey, up 12 points from the previous survey in August. The Yomiuri poll also showed a rise in support for Kan.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Linda Sieg and Edmund Klamann)

(For more news visit Reuters India)

FILED UNDER:

Sony Cyber Attack

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

Down Under

Down Under

Magic Johnson inspires Australia to second test win.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage