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Osaka to elect new mayor on March 23

Kyodo

The Osaka Municipal Government’s election board decided Saturday to hold a mayoral election March 23.

Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who tendered his resignation Friday, said he will seek re-election to merge the prefectural and municipal governments into a single Osaka metropolitan government by winning “a fresh mandate from voters.” Official campaigning kicks off March 9.

“I will give Osaka voters the opportunity to have me lose the election,” he said Saturday. “If they want to sack me, I will accept it, but I will pursue my goal to the bitter end if they don’t.”