This month, Japan’s oldest opposition party underwent its first leadership change in 23 years.

After a decade of steadily declining seat counts in the Diet, the country's parliament, the Japanese Communist Party turned to its first-ever female leader, Tomoko Tamura, to take the helm. The JCP is hoping she will refresh the group’s image ahead of a general election that will occur sometime in the next year and a half and convince the public that they are something more than a fringe political group.

The JCP’s change in leadership is an inflection point for a party that has struggled to transcend anachronism and perform as an effective opposition force. With the Liberal Democratic Party floundering amid scandal and waning public support, will Tamura be able to lead the party in gaining ground from its current stature as a lower-ranked opposition party?