An expected landslide victory for Japan's main opposition party in the parliamentary elections this weekend augurs well for China as the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is no longer burdened with a historical issue that time and again has disrupted Sino-Japanese relations, Chinese experts said Thursday.
Japan's main opposition Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama punches his fist in the air during a stop yesterday in Osaka, Japan. The party may win two-thirds of the seats in parliament's lower house in Sunday's election, according to a newspaper.
A new poll shows that the DPJ will likely win 320 of the 480 seats in the powerful lower house being contested in Sunday's elections, according to Japan's Asahi newspaper.
An opposition victory would end more than 50 years of almost unbroken rule by Prime Minister Taro Aso's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama has said he would not visit the Yasukuni Shrine, and added he "is willing to develop healthier and more positive relations with China", said Gao Hong, an expert on Japan studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"The promise he made will definitely help enhance mutual trust," he said, adding that the DPJ will take a very "intelligent and forward-looking" approach.
China and other Asian countries see the shrine, which honors convicted war criminals from World War II, as a symbol of Japan's militarism.
Bilateral ties reached their nadir under Junichiro Koizumi, who repeatedly visited the shrine as prime minister from 2001 to 2006.
Koizumi's successors in the ruling party have avoided visiting Yasukuni.