For voters, the biggest issue by far in the Aug. 30 Lower House election is the economy. Strong economic growth underpinned the Liberal Democratic Party’s many years of rule. By distributing wealth to various interest groups, the LDP was able to satisfy most sectors of Japanese society.

But as the economy matures, it has become difficult to sustain strong growth and the LDP’s system of rule based on a close relationship among politicians, bureaucracy and industry has reached its limits. Political parties need to offer a new vision for economic growth.

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