So far 16 political parties are fielding candidates for the Dec. 16 Lower House election.

While polls say that voters are likely to return to power the nearly 60-year-old Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled for most of the postwar period, this year’s election is turning into a contest between the older, larger established groups, like the conservative LDP and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, and a variety of newer, smaller rivals like Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) seeking to upend the status quo.

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