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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
In pictures: Campaigning in Japan

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe campaigns for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo

Japanese lawmakers have begun campaigning for the 29 July upper house elections, with about half the seats up for grabs.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a speech in Tokyo

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 of the ruling LDP wait for Mr Abe to make his speech in Tokyo

Supporters turned out to hear his speech, but across the country voters have been put off by ministerial gaffes and a pensions scandal.

Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa speaks to supporters in Okayama city

Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, urged people to vote for change and a new government.

A staff member from the New People's Party holds a party leaflet with a portrait of Mr Fujimori

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.

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