NAGOYA (Kyodo) Takashi Kawamura, backed by the Democratic Party of Japan, has won Sunday’s Nagoya mayoral election.

The win by Kawamura, a 60-year-old former House of Representatives member, is a relief for the DPJ and its leader, Ichiro Ozawa, who has been hit by a fundraising scandal, ahead of a general election that must be called by the fall.

Voter turnout registered 50.54 percent, up sharply from 27.50 in the previous mayoral election.

Four independent candidates ran in the election to pick the mayor of the nation’s fourth-largest metropolis.

The other three candidates were Masahiko Hosokawa, 54, a former head of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry’s Chubu Bureau supported by the local chapters of the Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito ruling bloc; Yoshiro Ota, 65, a local businessman backed by the Japanese Communist Party; and former office worker Katsuaki Kuroda, 36.

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