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OSAKA — Nagano Gov. Yasuo Tanaka said he has learned from the mistakes of other populist governors who took on the bureaucracy and lost, emphasizing that the age of traditional confrontational politics between small citizens’ groups and bureaucrats is over.

In an interview with The Japan Times, the 44-year-old novelist-turned-politician touched on his experiences in Kobe, first as a volunteer after the January 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake and then during an unsuccessful citizen-led campaign to stop the construction of Kobe airport.

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