Members of the nation's major political parties kicked off their official House of Councilors election campaigns Wednesday, with the ruling bloc and a united opposition giving speeches centered on the economy around the country.

Half of the 242 seats in the Upper House of the bicameral parliament are up for grabs in the July 10 election.

225 people had registered to run in constituencies and 164 through the proportional representation system as of midday Wednesday, for a total of 389 declared candidates.