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Campaigning kicks off for July 21 upper house election

The Yomiuri Shimbun

People gather outside Shinjuku Station in Tokyo to listen to a candidate at the start of campaigning for the House of Councillors election on Thursday morning.

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe House of Councillors election set for July 21 was officially announced Thursday, kick-starting campaigning nationwide.

The election is expected to serve as a test of whether voters want stability or change amid Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s 6½-year-long administration.

During the 17-day campaign period, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito are expected to stress their contributions in terms of the economy and foreign policy, while opposition parties will apparently question the ruling camp’s handling of such issues as the consumption tax hike and the pension system.

Despite the bad weather due to a seasonal rain front, party leaders and candidates sought support in various locations across the country.Speech

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