• Kyodo

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Fukushima Gov. Eisaku Sato and a local union leader registered their candidacy Thursday for the Sept. 5 gubernatorial election in what appears to be a confidence vote for the four-term incumbent.

Sato, 65, has the support of the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Social Democratic Party.

The local chapter of the Democratic Party of Japan and the business community in Fukushima have also expressed their intention to support Sato.

The challenger, Hideo Ogawa, 55, chairman of the prefectural affiliate of the National Confederation of Trade Unions, is backed by the Japanese Communist Party.

As he kicked off his re-election campaign in the city of Fukushima, Sato, who has widespread support in the local business community, said he plans to create new industries in the prefecture by promoting corporate investments.

Ogawa, addressing his supporters in the city, said he would emphasize people’s welfare and employment if he is elected.

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