Conservative party favored as Japan voting begins

TOKYO (AP) -- Voting has begun in Japanese parliamentary elections that will likely put the once-dominant conservatives back in power after a three-year break amid widespread voter dismay with the current ruling Democrats.

Major newspapers are predicting Sunday's vote will give the Liberal Democratic Party, led by the nationalistic former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a majority of the seats in the 480-seat lower house of parliament.

Still, many voters remained undecided just days before the election, reflecting a lack of enthusiasm for any party and bewilderment over a host of new parties that have sprung up.

People have soured on the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, which won a landslide victory in 2009 but could not deliver on a string of campaign pledges and passed legislation to double the sales tax.

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