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NAGO, Okinawa Pref. — Voters here chose continuity Sunday over change and placed promises of economic prosperity over concerns about a new U.S. military base as Yoshikazu Shimabukuro, a ruling coalition-backed candidate and the handpicked successor of former Mayor Tateo Kishimoto, headed for victory in the mayoral election.

In a contest closely watched not only by Nago voters but also the prefectural and central governments, as well as the United States, media exit polls Sunday night showed Shimabukuro was the winner.

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