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With a critical local election on the horizon, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) co-leader and Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto declared earlier this week that a fundraising event and strategy session planned for Friday will be closed to the media.

Since entering politics as Osaka governor in February 2008, Hashimoto has held 10 political fundraising events, all of which were open to journalists. But concern about attendees making gaffes that end up in headlines led to a change this time.

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