OSAKA – Populist reform trounced the status quo in Osaka Sunday evening as former governor and Osaka Ishin no kai leader Toru Hashimoto, 42, won the mayoral election and Ichiro Matsui, 47, a senior leader in the same party and Hashimoto’s hand-picked successor, clinched the governor’s seat.
The historic double election — the first same-day contest for Osaka’s governor and mayor in 40 years — dealt a major blow to the local chapters of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan as well as the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which backed incumbent Mayor Kunio Hiramatsu, 63, and gubernatorial candidate Kaoru Kurata, also 63.
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