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In the Dec. 16 Lower House election, the Liberal Democratic Party won a resounding victory while the Democratic Party of Japan suffered a crushing defeat, bringing about a change of government after three years and three months of DPJ rule.

Expectations were that the election campaign would center on policy issues such as whether the consumption tax rate should be raised, whether Japan should join the talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, and whether and how Japan should end its reliance on nuclear energy as a key source of electricity.

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