The 2022 parliament campaign period for Japan’s Upper House July 10 election begins today.
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, is currently in the lead with 27.3% of voters’ support. 34.2% of the electorate remains undecided.
Accelerating inflation will likely be a central focus for candidates with 71.1% of voters considering it to be the most pressing issue. The Constitutional Democratic Party is attempting to capitalize on this uncertainty by placing blame on the LDP for its inability to curb rising living costs. Kishida has tried to counter the claim by attributing inflation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The LDP has so far prioritized foreign policy and defense in its campaign message, but it may shift its focus to inflation to win over undecided voters. The party has already passed a supplementary budget to help counter rising prices and pledged to retain subsidies for oil wholesales to lower retail gasoline prices. Kishida has expressed hope that the Bank of Japan will guide its policy to stabilize the economy, after some lawmakers have blamed the central bank’s monetary easing for yen’s quick decline, which boosts import costs.
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Madeline McQuillan is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a contributor to the Daily Brief. Her expertise is in European politics and transatlantic relations. She holds a Master of Science in European and International Public Policy from the London School of Economics.