Japan voters want coalition to handle crisis - poll

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 03, 2011 3:06 PM
Japan voters want coalition to handle crisis - poll

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of Japanese voters believe the ruling Democratic Party should form a coalition with the main opposition to better handle a prolonged nuclear crisis and recovery effort after a huge earthquake and tsunami, an opinion poll published late on Sunday showed.

The survey by the Yomiuri newspaper showed 64 percent of those polled believe the Democratic Party should form a coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which ruled Japan for an almost unbroken 50 years until being deposed by the Democrats in 2009.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan on March 19 invited Sadakazu Tanigaki, head of the LDP, to join the cabinet as deputy premier for disaster relief. Tanigaki swiftly rejected the offer.

Japan faces a massive bill for reconstruction from last month's magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami.

Authorities are struggling to bring under control a nuclear power plant which was damaged in the quake and is leaking radiation, and Kan still hopes to form a grand coalition to tackle the disaster, Japanese media have said.

Voter support for Kan's government stood at 31 percent, up from 24 percent in its previous survey conducted in early March, according to the poll results posted on the Yomiuri web site late on Sunday.

Still, the survey showed 69 percent of those polled believe Kan is not exercising leadership in the government's handling of the quake aftermath and the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northern Japan.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)