The campaign for the Aug. 30 Lower House election officially kicked off Tuesday. The election results will have a great impact on the course of Japan’s future because there is a chance that the Liberal Democratic Party’s domination of Japanese politics may end. The election represents a chance for voters to render a decisive verdict on the performance of the coalition of the LDP and Komeito.

After the September 2005 election, which handed the LDP a landslide victory, three LDP leaders became prime ministers without receiving a voter mandate. Prime Minister Taro Aso has made many flip-flops on important policy and political matters. Under the retrenchment policy inherited from the Koizumi administration, the nation’s social security, including medical services and support for the socially needy, has deteriorated.

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