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Campaigning for the Upper House election kicks off Wednesday, with the vote on July 10 being the first real chance for the electorate to give a verdict on the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. But with the opposition expected to offer little in the way of a contest, even a precipitous rise in consumer prices is unlikely to prevent a resounding victory for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

However, wider economic issues including the current weakening of the yen are casting a long shadow over the nation’s politics and could spell trouble for the prime minister further down the road — even if the Cabinet proves successful in focusing the public’s pre-election attention on issues related to security and public health.

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