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Kenji Utsunomiya, former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, said Saturday that he intends to run in the Tokyo gubernatorial election Feb. 9, making him the first candidate to emerge since Gov. Naoki Inose resigned earlier this month.

Utsunomiya, 67, was runner-up to Inose in the previous election in December 2012, and ran as an independent on an anti-nuclear energy platform with the backing of the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party and the now-defunct Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan).

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