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KOFU (Kyodo) Incumbent Yamanashi Gov. Shomei Yokouchi was certain to win re-election Sunday as early returns showed him defeating challenger Reiko Okubo of the Japanese Communist Party.

Yokouchi, 68, an independent, enjoyed bipartisan backing from three parties, including the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the conservative Liberal Democratic Party. He campaigned on the achievements of his first term, such the bolstering of Yamanashi’s fiscal health and measures to combat recession, while Okubo, 60, pledged to improve the welfare and education sectors by cutting public work projects.

The race basically hinged on whether voters would approve of how Yokouchi did in his first term.

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