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UPDATED: 09:00, April 09, 2007
Shintaro Ishihara reelected as Tokyo governor
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Incumbent Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara beat his competitors in gubernatorial election and was reelected governor of the capital on Sunday, winning a third four-year term of the post.

The 74-year-old hawk was assured of victory earlier in the evening. As of 11:00 p.m. (1400 GMT), Ishihara sealed an absolute predominance by scoring more than 1,860,000 ballots in the 65 percent accounted votes, outpacing former Miyagi Gov. Shiro Asano, his major challenger, and other candidates.

Ishihara was backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito party. Although having been criticized for his big expense on overseas official tour and entertainment, Ishihara was trusted by voters on his leadership in environmental protection and anti-crime measures, according to local media.

His promise of pushing forward Tokyo's 2016 Olympic Games bid also scored, said Kyodo News, which described Ishihara's performance during the campaign as "low-key."

Ishihara was first elected Tokyo governor in 1999 and was reelected in a landslide victory for the current term in 2003.

A total of 14 candidates ran the latest gubernatorial election. According to the Tokyo metropolitan election management committee, voter turnout registered a sharp rise from the previous election four years ago to reach about 53.61 percent.

Sunday's elections around Japan was the first of two unified rounds of regional polls. Thirteen of Japan's 47 prefectures as well as four major cities held elections of executive chiefs and 44 prefectures as well as 15 major cities held elections of assembly members.

Source: Xinhua

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