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Nagano Gov. Shuichi Abe cruises to third term

Kyodo

Nagano Gov. Shuichi Abe was re-elected to a third term Sunday after receiving wide support from the ruling and major opposition parties.

The 57-year-old independent, who was backed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party, easily defeated fellow independent and former Ueda Municipal Assembly member Chuichi Kanai, 68, who was backed by the Japanese Communist Party.

Voter turnout fell to an all-time low of 43.28 percent, down slightly from the 43.56 percent logged in the previous election in 2014. Abe received 635,365 votes to Kanai’s 110,930.

During the campaign, the incumbent, who took office in 2010, promised to push harder for educational reforms and for revitalizing local industries in the prefecture.

Kanai pledged to cut public works spending to secure funds for assisting families that are raising children.