BBC World : Economy key as Japan goes to the polls

Things seem to be looking up... for the moment.

Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is hoping that the Japanese will give him credit for the recent dramatic improvement in the country's economy when they go to the polls next month.
And he has pledged that if he wins the election, he will continue to push for economic growth.

After more than a decade during which Japan has drifted in and out of recession, the country's economy is now growing at an annual rate of 3.9%, according to figures from the latest quarter.

That is much faster than the United States or most of Europe.

Unemployment has stablised.

The stockmarket has risen sharply since April.

And there are even signs that one of the most acute economic problems, that is falling prices or deflation, is slowly coming under control.