(Reuters) – A strong showing by Japan’s ruling party in upper house elections on Sunday would give Prime Minister Fumio Kishida a firmer grip on the factious party and allow him to emerge from the shadow of a powerful predecessor and define his premiership.
* The upper house election result will have implications for Kishida’s grip on the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and his ability to tackle main policy issues from inflation to nuclear power and defence.
* The rising cost of living is turning into a thorny election issue as opposition parties peg blame for rising prices rises on Kishida’s policies.
* Farmer Kiyoharu Hirao has started to add more rice to the mix he gives his cattle to stretch his money further as a plunging yen drives up the cost of imported corn for animal feed. That makes him, along with other farmers facing similar hardship, angry at the LDP that once held an almost unshakable grip on rural Japan.
* The ruling coalition is headed for victory with Kishida’s party likely to extend the number of seats it holds on its own, according to an opinion poll.
* Key facts about the upper house election and important numbers to watch.
* Key facts about main political parties.
(Complied by Robert Birsel)