Polling stations opened at 7:00 am (local time) across the nation in a lower house election, officials said.

The vote count starts on Sunday, with broadcasters' exit polls expected soon afterwards.

The premier is seeking a greater mandate for "Abenomics" - his signature plan to fix the economy - and observers expect he will barely break a sweat in an easy victory.

Opinion polls predict his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior partner Komeito will sweep the ballot, all but unhindered by an unprepared and underwhelming opposition.

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