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The so-called third-pole opposition forces gained a slight foothold in the Dec. 16 Lower House election, although the Liberal Democratic Party and its ally Komeito control more than two-thirds of the Lower House seats.

The third-pole forces need to develop a strategy for coping with the powerful ruling LDP-Komeito coalition and decide what policy programs to present in the coming Upper House election in order to distinguish themselves from it.

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