Peace and Freedom

A man walks past posters of Japanese Prime Minister and ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe displayed at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo on Thursday.

By ELAINE KURTENBACH

TOKYO (AP) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is counting on a landslide victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections that will likely return his ruling coalition to power with an even bigger majority, empowering him to pursue an ambitious agenda of political and economic reforms.

“This is the only way!” is the slogan Abe is driving home in his campaign speeches. For Japanese voters, that is probably the case.

The economy is back in recession, the government’s popularity ratings have slid and messy campaign finance scandals have roiled Abe’s Cabinet. Normally, that would be bad news for the incumbent. Yet Abe is virtually the only game in town thanks to Japan’s tendency toward a one-party political system, voter apathy and a lack…

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