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Abe's dogmatic leadership style put to test in LDP race

Candidates offer little of substance as focus shifts away from policy

TOKYO -- Though Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is widely considered a shoo-in to win yet another term at the ruling party's helm, his aggressive political tactics have become a major flashpoint both within and beyond the party.

Both the market and political experts expect Abe to win a third consecutive term as president of the Liberal Democratic Party on Sept. 20. He is believed to have the votes of about 70% of the party's 405 lawmakers at the national level. But local party members and affiliates -- representing the other 405 votes -- are much less enthusiastic.

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