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The Lower House election campaign officially kicked off Tuesday, with the ruling coalition and the opposition camp clashing over economic policies, the coronavirus pandemic response and the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito’s record over their nine-year reign.

Although voters’ primary concerns tend to be focused on domestic affairs, diplomacy and national security have emerged as key battle lines in this election. Party leaders on both the right and the left have laid out campaign pledges regarding Japan’s alliance with the United States and the nation’s defense capabilities with China and North Korea in mind.

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