• Kyodo

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Tadahiro Ando, a former Miyazaki prefectural division chief of commercial and industrial labor, has been elected governor of the prefecture.

Ando, 62, will succeed 85-year-old Suketaka Matsukata, Japan’s oldest governor, who is set to retire in August after serving in the post for six four-year terms.

In Sunday’s race among three independents, Ando defeated Toshio Makino, 65, a former chief treasurer for the prefecture who was backed by the Democratic Party of Japan and the Social Democratic Party, and Makoto Sato, 64, chief of the prefectural chapter of the Japanese Communist Party.

With all the ballots counted, Ando garnered 273,829 votes, compared with 248,321 for Makino and 22,300 for Sato.

Final voter turnout stood at 59.34 percent, up from 56.08 percent in the previous election.