Japanese voters go to the polls and other news
• JAPAN'S voters, going to the polls on Sunday August 30th, may opt for a change of government. The Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled Japan for half a century (save for a brief spell in 1993), is under threat from Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Opinion polls give the DPJ a two-to-one margin over the LDP as Japan’s electorate are being won over by Mr Haotyama’s Obama-esque promise of “change” to cope with Japan’s ageing population, the low birth-rate and a dangerously lopsided, export-oriented economy. But Mr Aso has questioned the DPJ’s ability to pay for expensive campaign promises, such as a hefty child allowance to push up the birth rate, heavily subsidised schooling and income support to farmers.