Campaigning kicked off Friday for the June 23 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, which appears to lack a major divisive issue but whose results may portend the outcome of the crucial July Upper House poll.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its partner, New Komeito, which hold a Lower House majority at the national level, hope to end the Democratic Party of Japan's majority in the metro assembly.

The assembly has 127 seats up for grabs, and 253 candidates are vying for them.