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Monday, 15th June 2009
In General Japan News,

Japanese opposition wins Chiba election

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has struck another blow against the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with a landslide victory in the Chiba local elections.

DPJ candidate Toshihito Kumagai became the country's youngest mayor after defeating LDP opponent Kojiro Hoyashi by 170,629 votes to 117,560.

The opposition's victory represents another major setback for LDP, which has enjoyed a monopoly over Japanese politics for more than 50 years, but has now lost elections in the Chiba, Nagoya and Saitama prefectures in the last two months.

Yukio Hatoyama, leader of DPJ, was quoted by AFP as saying: "Naturally, the outcome reflects the people's hope for a change of government. We should dissolve parliament and hold national elections as soon as possible."

The election result follows last week's announcement that Kunio Hatoyama, the internal affairs minister and brother of the DPJ leader, had resigned from prime minister Taro Aso's cabinet after a row over the running of the postal service.

Written by Graham McPherson

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