The possible power shift in Sunday's general election signals change for many, and one minority interest group is daring to hope it will bring about the biggest change yet.

The nation's gay and lesbian community, which has long been calling for an antidiscrimination law to protect their rights, has seen similar bills proposed and scrapped in the Diet for nearly a decade.

The likelihood that the Democratic Party of Japan, the last party to submit such a bill, will dominate the powerful House of Representatives in an alliance with the Social Democratic Party, which speaks out for homosexual rights, has raised hopes that the inertia may at last be overcome.