• Kyodo

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A civic group based in Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, requested a referendum Friday to recall Mayor Toshiaki Okano for closing a city-run hospital with a serious doctor shortage, breaking his 2006 election pledge.

On Friday morning, the civic group gave the committee a petition with the signatures of about 25,900 eligible voters, exceeding the one-third threshold of 20,229 voters needed to trigger a recall.

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