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Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of lay Buddhist-backed Komeito, said Monday that permanent foreign residents should be granted the right to vote in local elections, presenting a stark contrast with an upstart rival challenging his party in the snap election this weekend.

The question of whether to let non-Japanese vote is not one of the key issues in the Oct. 22 general election, but it’s one that’s been raised by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and her upstart Kibo no To (Party of Hope).

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