Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and opposition leader Shinzo Abe rallied their supporters today, following the dissolution of parliament's lower house in line for a December 16th election that is likely to return the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party to power, with a conservative former prime minister, at the helm. Mr Noda confirmed the importance of the election.

VO While opposition leader Abe currently leading in the polls, also held their own rally led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Here he laid out some fighting talk surrounding the territorial islands dispute with China.

In the summer, Mr Noda made the most notable achievement in his year as prime minister - he succeeded in pushing through a bill to double the rate of consumption tax in Japan to 10% by 2015. However to get it pushed through Mr Noda had to get the opposition LDP to pass the bill. And the small print was the promise of an early election. And although it looks likely that the LDP will win the election, it won't be enough to form a government on their own so they will have to look for coalition partners.

Written and presented by Ann Salter