Voters in Japan have begun casting ballots in an early general election likely to keep Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party in power.
Touted as a referendum on Abe's economic policies, the vote, according to pre-election surveys, was not expected to be close. Analysts predicted the ruling LDP and its junior coalition partner would win more than 300 seats in the 475-member lower house.
Vote counting is expected to begin Sunday night, with normally reliable exit polls expected soon afterward.
A new voter mandate would grant Abe four more years to implement difficult reforms, including a reduction in the country's massive debt and restructuring of its agriculture sector.
Abe won a rare second term as prime minister in 2012, with promises to reboot Japan's stagnant economy, which has been plagued by low birth rates, as well as a shrinking and aging population.
Since then, corporate profits have boomed as the Japanese yen weakened in value. The economy, however, slipped back into recession in April, following a sales tax increase.