Japanese lawmakers have begun campaigning for the 29 July upper house elections, with about half the seats up for grabs.
The poll is being seen as a key test for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has seen his popularity plummet during his 10 months in power.
Supporters turned out to hear his speech, but across the country voters have been put off by ministerial gaffes and a pensions scandal.
Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, urged people to vote for change and a new government.
The small New People's Party, meanwhile, campaigned on behalf of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who is contesting a seat from house arrest in Chile.