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From left: Party of Hope founder and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, Constitutional Democratic Party leader Yukio Edano and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Japan's opposition races to assemble slates as tumult persists

1,000-plus hopefuls stand for election, but cooperation remains elusive

| Japan

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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