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Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto expressed confidence July 7 over his Liberal Democratic Party’s continued reign over national politics following his party’s victory in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly race July 6.

The LDP and Japanese Communist Party emerged as big winners in the election, which was also characterized by a sluggish voter turnout of 40.8 percent — the lowest figure ever for a local assembly election. “I am very happy about the number of seats we picked up,” Hashimoto said. Of the 127 seats being contested, the LDP grabbed 54, up from its pre-election strength of 38.

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