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SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) Heita Kawakatsu, the candidate backed by the Democratic Party of Japan, was elected governor of Shizuoka in a close race Sunday, dealing yet another blow to the already struggling Prime Minister Taro Aso.

Kawakatsu, 60, who was also supported by the Social Democratic Party and Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party), defeated Yukiko Sakamoto, 60, backed by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, and two other candidates.

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