IIZUKA, Fukuoka Pref. — Given his nationwide unpopularity, not a few candidates from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party would prefer that their leader, Prime Minister Taro Aso, not visit them during the election campaign lest this worsens their chances.

But Aso is so confident of his own victory in the Fukuoka No. 8 district that local supporters say he has no need to actually put in an appearance in his own constituency.

"The prime minister will be busy during the campaign helping other candidates in districts where the races are tighter," said Shuichi Saruwatari, a supporter who works in Aso's election office in Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture.