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The latest major opinion polls seem to indicate that the general election on Aug. 30 will bring about a change of government in Japan, with the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) unseating the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Prime Minister Taro Aso as the predominant force in the Lower House. One is left with the question of whether there will be a new alignment of political parties and politicians.

Only until a couple of months ago, there was much speculation that a number of LDP lawmakers, fed up with the growing unpopularity of Aso, would revolt against the party and form new groups. Especially after Aso fired Internal Affairs Minister Kunio Hatoyama on June 20 over the latter’s opposition to the re-appointment of the postal services chief, Hatoyama was thought to be preparing to form a new party. The bid failed as he was able to gain support from only a handful.

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