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Analysis: Japan politics could fragment further on road to two-party system

Members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan stand next to a poster of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda after a meeting at the parliament in Tokyo in this November 15, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put LDP leader Shinzo Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan stand next to a poster of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda after a meeting at the parliament in Tokyo in this November 15, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just...more

Members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan stand next to a poster of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda after a meeting at the parliament in Tokyo in this November 15, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put LDP leader Shinzo Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
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Shinzo Abe, the head of Japan's main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, speaks during a lecture entitled, "The path to the rejuvenation of Japan," in Tokyo in this November 15, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/Files

Shinzo Abe, the head of Japan's main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, speaks during a lecture entitled, "The path to the rejuvenation of Japan," in Tokyo in this November 15, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't...more

Shinzo Abe, the head of Japan's main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, speaks during a lecture entitled, "The path to the rejuvenation of Japan," in Tokyo in this November 15, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/Files
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Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister and head of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), smiles during a lower house plenary session at the parliament in Tokyo in this November 15, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop LDP rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/Files

Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister and head of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), smiles during a lower house plenary session at the parliament in Tokyo in this November 15, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just...more

Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister and head of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), smiles during a lower house plenary session at the parliament in Tokyo in this November 15, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop LDP rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/Files
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Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaks at his news conference at his official residence in Tokyo in this November 16, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put LDP leader Shinzo Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaks at his news conference at his official residence in Tokyo in this November 16, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in...more

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaks at his news conference at his official residence in Tokyo in this November 16, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put LDP leader Shinzo Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files
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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (R) and main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe speak at a parliamentary debate in Tokyo, in this November 14, 2012 file combination photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (R) and main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe speak at a parliamentary debate in Tokyo, in this November 14, 2012 file combination photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi...more

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (R) and main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe speak at a parliamentary debate in Tokyo, in this November 14, 2012 file combination photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files
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Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda raises his hands next to Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada as they attend the lower house budget committee meeting in Tokyo in this November 12, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put LDP leader Shinzo Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda raises his hands next to Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada as they attend the lower house budget committee meeting in Tokyo in this November 12, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi...more

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda raises his hands next to Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada as they attend the lower house budget committee meeting in Tokyo in this November 12, 2012 file photo. Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn't just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month's election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country's past policy ills. Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament's lower house. That would put LDP leader Shinzo Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
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