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Saitama Gov. Kiyoshi Ueda and other local leaders are making their case to Seibu Holdings Inc. to keep the Seibu Chichibu Line open as rumors swirl that the firm’s biggest shareholder is demanding that the unprofitable railway section be abandoned.

“It would severely damage the Chichibu area” if the line is abolished, Ueda told reporters Monday after he and other leaders of municipalities along the line met in Tokyo with Takashi Goto, the president of Seibu Holdings.

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