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OSAKA — The 1868 Meiji Restoration that brought Japan into the modern world originated in provinces far outside the capital when local leaders rebelled against what they saw as a corrupt, ossified Edo-based government and bureaucracy that was stifling freedom and innovation and had no national vision.

That may oversimplify history. But if Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto and his local government allies, Miyazaki Gov. Hideo Higashikokubaru in particular, get their way, the next Lower House election may lead to something similar. Hashimoto and a few others hope the poll will be a mandate for change regarding the most basic concepts of political and bureaucratic power and the relationship between Tokyo and regional governments via decentralization of power.

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