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Japan Voters Back Kan Over Ozawa as Prime Minister, Polls Say

Japanese voters favor Naoto Kan to remain prime minister over challenger Ichiro Ozawa by a margin of more than three to one, two polls released today show.

Sixty-six percent prefer Kan as leader compared with 18 percent for Ozawa, the Yomiuri newspaper reported today. It received valid responses from 68 percent of 1,728 households surveyed by telephone Sept. 3-5. A margin of error wasn’t provided.

A survey by the Asahi newspaper found 65 percent of voters back Kan, compared with 17 percent for Ozawa.

Ozawa, head of the largest faction in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, is challenging Kan at a party leadership contest Sept. 14. The winner of that ballot is ensured of being prime minister because the DPJ controls parliament’s lower house.

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