TOKYO, March 31 (Reuters) - Japanese opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa said on Tuesday he would decide whether to quit over a funding scandal based on the outlook for his party winning a general election this year.
Pressure on Ozawa to quit ahead of the general election, which must be held by October, is expected to grow after backing for his Democratic Party has slipped in opinion polls and an opposition candidate was trounced in a local race.[ID:nT111221]
About two-thirds of voters in surveys have said Ozawa should resign. "I must sincerely accept the (results of) the opinion polls and respond, but the final basis on which I will make my judgment is whether or not we can win the election," he told a news conference.
The Democrats had looked set to oust the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party until Ozawa's closest aide was arrested and charged with illegal fundraising this month, clouding chances for a breakthrough in the political deadlock that has been stymying policies as Japan's recession deepens. [ID:nT109240]