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Nine Democratic Party of Japan lawmakers have announced their candidacies or are contemplating running in the party’s Sept. 23 presidential race. None, however, appears to have sufficient strength to dominate the nation’s largest opposition party.

Incumbent Yukio Hatoyama, whose term ends next month, has been criticized as lacking the necessary leadership for the DPJ to mount an effective challenge to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s ruling coalition, led by the Liberal Democratic Party.

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