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On April 17 the Asahi Shimbun reviewed the results of various local elections that had taken place the day before. The main story was not who got voted in or out, but whether or not anyone cared.

The mayor of Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, was returned for a fourth term with a turnout of 58 percent, the lowest ever; Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture had a turnout of only 38 percent, also a new low, while Hino’s 37 percent in Tokyo set a new record as well. The rare “high” turnouts — 72 percent in Itoigawa, Niigata Prefecture, and 77 percent in Bungo Ono, Oita Prefecture, were still the lowest in their respective histories. There were more than a few races that weren’t races at all, since they consisted of only one candidate. In many instances, the municipalities in question didn’t even bother to hold elections. Why waste taxpayers’ money?

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