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Japanese opposition split turns election into 3-way fight

Liberal and conservative opposition blocs could divide anti-establishment vote

Factions led by Democratic Party heavyweight Yukio Edano, left, and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, right, could split votes against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, in the Oct. 22 lower house Diet election.

TOKYO -- Three major factions look to dominate Japan's upcoming general election after the main opposition Democratic Party split in two over the question of whether to team up with conservative Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike's new national party.

Yukio Edano, the Democrats' left-leaning deputy president, said Monday that he would lead a new Constitutional Democratic Party to attract liberal votes in the Oct. 22 race. The party will "protect constitutionalism, democracy, liberal society and citizens' livelihoods," Edano said, asking voters for "the power to put a stop to the excesses" of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government.

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