• Kyodo

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Official campaigning for the April 28 Upper House by-election in Yamaguchi Prefecture began Thursday, with former Justice Minister Hideo Hiraoka, backed by the Democratic Party of Japan, challenging a newcomer from the Liberal Democratic Party.

The House of Councilors by-election will be the first Diet election since the LDP regained power from the DPJ in the December general election, making it the first national-level electoral test for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose electoral base is in Yamaguchi.

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