Sunday’s overwhelming victories by Toru Hashimoto and Ichiro Matsui in the Osaka mayoral and gubernatorial elections have put Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and the established parties on notice as speculation grows that Hashimoto’s local Osaka Ishin no kai group will field candidates in the next Lower House election.

In the closely watched mayoral election, Hashimoto, the former governor, won with 750,813 votes to incumbent Mayor Kunio Hiramatsu’s 522,641.

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