Japanese politics has been in a chaotic state for the past few years, perplexing millions of voters. The country has seen four prime ministers in the past three years, and the latest — Taro Aso — could be forced out if the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition force, grabs power in the Aug. 30 election.

A victory would terminate the almost-unbroken 54-year postwar rule of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Observers say against the backdrop of this political instability is the LDP's gradual decline following the end, in the 1990s, of Japan's extended postwar economic growth.