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With the Upper House election on July 10 now just over a week away, the latest polls forecast the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to pick up three times as many seats as their nearest rivals — signaling little jeopardy for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in the buildup to the vote.

However, Kishida is still only nine months into his tenure. The vote is therefore more significant than it might seem at first glance, because it offers the electorate their first proper chance to pass judgment on his nascent administration.

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