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Katsuya Okada, who was chosen as the new leader of the Democratic Party of Japan on Sunday, needs to set a clear direction that has eluded the nation’s largest opposition party since its crushing fall from power in 2012. He also faces the challenge of rallying the splintered opposition camp into a more united front against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition, which dominates both chambers of the Diet.

It won’t be an easy task. After devastating losses in two national elections in a row, the DPJ won only marginal gains in the Lower House race in December. The loss of Diet seat held by party chief Banri Kaieda symbolized the woes of the party, which remains an impotent force against Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito alliance.

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