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Japan election 2012: Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party are expected to defeat current Prime Yoshihiko Noda and his Democratic Party of Japan in Sunday's elections, returning to power the party that has ruled Japan almost continuously since 1955.
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Noda and the DPJ have seen their support erode due to broken campaign promises, raising taxes, the government's poor response to last December's tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, and restarting Japan's nuclear reactors.
Abe resigned in 2007 after less than a year in office in the wake of a string of scandals. Abe promises a harder stance on China, more reliance on nuclear energy and is seen by investors as being more likely to help turn Japan's economy around.
Japan has under a series of weak prime ministers since Junichiro Koizumi stepped down in 2006. Noda is Japan's sixth prime minister since 2006.