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This is the first in a series on the issues related with the upcoming nationwide local elections. Stories will appear occasionally toward the second round of polls April 26.

Situated between Fukuoka to the east and Nagasaki to the west, Saga Prefecture is one of Japan’s most rural, and conservative, localities. It’s the home of world-famous Arita porcelain, nationally famous Saga beef, which is now showing up in Hong Kong, and a major hot-air balloon festival.

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