Kyoto voters cast their ballots for the status quo and closer relations with Tokyo on Sunday, electing a candidate with strong ties to the central government who promised to continue the policies of the previous governor and who was backed by all major political parties except the Japanese Communist Party.

Takatoshi Nishiwaki, 62, a former high-level Reconstruction Agency and transport ministry bureaucrat who was the hand-picked successor to the outgoing governor, Keiji Yamada, easily defeated Kazuhito Fukuyama, 57, a lawyer who had the support of the JCP and attempted to build a citizens' movement.

Voter turnout was 35.17 percent, the second-lowest on record.