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Citizens gather for a campaign rally ahead of Sunday's election.   © Kyodo

Big electoral win to aid Abe's quest for constitutional reform

Strong showing by liberals could prompt regrouping among opposition

| Japan

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition appears set to win a comfortable majority in Sunday's lower house election, an outcome that could boost his effort to revise Japan's pacifist constitution and prompt a regrouping among defeated opposition parties.

The key threshold is a two-thirds majority -- the number required to initiate the revision process in both chambers of the Diet. If the coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and junior partner Komeito wins 310 seats in the 465-member lower house, Abe likely would see the result as a solid voter mandate and proceed with his revision plan.

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