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With four days until Sunday’s Osaka gubernatorial and mayoral elections, which are expected to influence the national political scene, candidates backed by Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka) political group are leading candidates pushed by the established parties, local media polls show.

Separate polls by the Asahi, Mainichi and Sankei newspapers were taken last weekend. They showed Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui, 51, who co-founded Osaka Ishin with Hashimoto, with a comfortable lead over Takako Kurihara, 53, a former Liberal Democratic Party prefectural assembly member who has the backing of the LDP, the Japanese Communist Party and the Democratic Party of Japan.

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