Japan's July 21 upper house election is looking to be a rather curious affair.
By any objective yardstick, Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party should take a real drubbing. The economy, which the prime minister promised to revitalize when he took office in 2012, is flagging. Real wages just fell a fifth straight month. The 0.2% drop in May from a year earlier is the latest reminder that Japan Inc. is not fattening paychecks as hoped.