Japanese voters head to polls after Abe assassination

STORY: Office worker Mika Ito told Reuters she came to vote with hopes that this election could make what Abe had done for the country worthwhile.

Elections for seats in parliament's less powerful upper house are typically seen as a referendum on the sitting government, and opinion polls before the assassination already pointed to a strong showing for the ruling bloc led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, an Abe protege.

Polls opened at 7 am local time (2200 GMT on Saturday) and close at 8 pm (1100 GMT), when initial exit poll results are expected.