Tokyo: Voters began casting ballots in Japan on Sunday for a general election likely to return Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to power, and billed as a referendum on his economic policy.
Polling stations opened at 7:00 am (local time) across the nation in a lower house election, officials said.
The vote count starts tonight, with broadcasters' exit polls expected soon afterwards.
The premier is seeking a greater mandate for "Abenomics" -- his signature plan to fix the economy -- and observers expect he will barely break a sweat in an easy victory.
Opinion polls predict his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior partner Komeito will sweep the ballot, all but unhindered by an unprepared and underwhelming opposition.