Kuala Lumpur, Sept 6 (ANI): Nearly two-thirds of Japanese voters prefer Prime Minister Naoto Kan to powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa as premier, according to media poll conducted ahead of a September 14 ruling party leadership race.
According to the China Daily an Asahi newspaper survey found that 65 percent of respondents think Kan to be more appropriate as Prime Minister, against 17 percent who backed Ozawa.
The leadership election threatens to divide the ruling party just a year after it took power and comes amid a slowing recovery of the country's fragile export-led economy, threatened by a strong yen.
The rivals represent the two different wings of the party which a year ago ousted the conservatives after more than half a century of almost unbroken rule.
Ozawa is a veteran powerbroker who defected years ago from the conservative Liberal Democratic Party. He has earned nicknames such as "Shadow Shogun" and the "Destroyer" for his record of creating and splitting parties.
Kan, started his political life as a left-wing grassroots activist and shot to fame when, during a brief stint as health minister, he uncovered official culpability in an HIV-tainted blood scandal. (ANI)