TOKYO -- With just five days until the start of campaigning for this month's lower house election, Japanese opposition parties are scrambling to rework their candidate lineups amid turmoil triggered by a rift between liberal and conservative blocs.
A de facto merger with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike's new Kibo no To, or Party of Hope, has resulted in a break-up of the Democratic Party, which until then was Japan's largest opposition party. Right-leaning lawmakers are joining up with the Party of Hope, while liberals who cannot accept its conservative agenda have opted out, forming the Constitutional Democratic Party as an alternative.
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