Nov. 16 - The war of words begins as Japan's political leaders set their sights on a December election. Lily Grimes reports.
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As the Japanese parliament is dissolved on Friday top political leaders have wasted no time in waging a war of words ahead of an expected December election.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says he will spare no effort in seeking the mandate of the people.
But polls suggest the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and former prime minister Shinzo Abe will be returned to office.
(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) LEADER OF JAPAN'S MAIN OPPOSITION LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (LDP), SHINZO ABE, SAYING:
"We must achieve victory. That is our mission for the people and with that in mind, I resolve to fight this historic battle."
Political experts worry Abe will worsen ties with China, already damaged by a territorial row over a group of islands.
And few expect the next government will resolve a policy stalemate as the country struggles with an ageing population and security challenges posed by China's rapid rise.
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