• Kyodo


A former bureaucrat was headed Sunday night to victory in the Gifu gubernatorial election, leading two other independent candidates to succeed Gov. Taku Kajiwara, according to Kyodo News projections.

The front runner, Hajime Furuta, 57, is officially an independent but was supported in the race by the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan. He ran at the outgoing governor’s request. Kajiwara, 71, is retiring after four terms.

The other candidates were Kazuhiko Kinoshita, 63, backed by the Japanese Communist Party, and Tatsuya Kakita, 51, a food commentator.

Furuta spent two years as the director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Economic Cooperation Bureau, from which he resigned in September. Before that, he worked in the former International Trade and Industry Ministry and its successor, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, since 1971.

Furuta pledged to renovate the local administration by putting more emphasis on people’s lives.

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