Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking a vote of confidence for his “Abenomics” policies in the Dec. 14 election of the Lower House. But as the chamber was officially dissolved Friday, the opposition parties still lack a common ground beyond their unanimous criticism of Abe’s economic policies as failures based on recent economic data.

As Nagatacho effectively entered the election campaign mode this week, Your Party, one of the “third-force” political parties that gained seats in the last election in 2012, decided to disband and end its five-year history — capping a wave of realignment in the opposition camp, which has been dwarfed by the ruling coalition of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito over the past two years. The breakup of the party came after recent talks for a merger with the largest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, broke down due to internal discord between the current party leadership and its founder Yoshimi Watanabe, who continued to advocate cooperation with the ruling alliance even after resigning as party chief earlier this year over a political funds scandal. Some of the party’s members are expected to join the DPJ, while others may remain independent or join other parties.

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