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Nearly half of Japan’s voters support no political party

Nearly half of Japan’s voters support no political party, according to a poll released on Monday, a sign of mounting frustration with both ruling and opposition parties ahead of an election expected in July.

Hoping to attract some of these dissatisfied voters, former finance minister Kaoru Yosano and other opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rebels are aiming to start a new party this week. It is unclear how much support they can attract.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party needs to win an outright majority in the mid-year upper house poll to avoid a policy stalemate, but voter concerns about his leadership skills, messy decision-making and funding scandals are dimming that prospect.

The survey by the Yomiuri newspaper showed voter support for the ruling Democrats fell to 24 percent and that for the main opposition LDP dropped to 16 percent.

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