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Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, head of Japan's Party of Hope, attends a news conference to unveil its election campaign pledges in Tokyo on Oct. 6.   © Reuters

Fading Hope: Koike's challenge to Abe fizzles in Tokyo and beyond

Party of Hope candidates struggle as voters turn on once-idolized leader

MASAYUKI YUDA, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- "United we stand, divided we fall." This paraphrasing of the New Testament perfectly describes the predicament of Japan's opposition as the race for Sunday's election enters its final stretch. Across the country, voters are voicing a mixture of skepticism, frustration and disappointment over what might have been.

Less than a month ago, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike formed a new national party and quickly orchestrated a de facto merger with the largest opposition group, the Democratic Party. This move raised expectations that Koike's Kibo no To, or Party of Hope, would mount a serious challenge to the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and junior partner Komeito.

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