A slew of alleged misdeeds and scandals implicating Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are expected to turn the campaign for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Election, which kicked off Friday, into the toughest battle his ruling party has seen in recent years.

The allegations, including ethics violations and a rape cover-up, plus public discontent over the underhanded steamrolling of the unpopular conspiracy bill through the Diet, are complicating the conservative Liberal Democratic Party's bid to defend its power in the assembly.

The LDP already has its hands full fighting the new party headed by popular Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.