• JIJI, Kyodo


Kagawa Gov. Keizo Hamada coasted to a third term Sunday in an uninspired election that set a record low for voter turnout.

His opponent was former medical cooperative executive Eiji Himeda, 62, an independent who was backed by the Japanese Communist Party.

Hamada, 66, won easily, drawing 201,599 votes against 34,814 for Himeda. Turnout was a record low 29.34 percent.

Himeda’s campaign criticized Hamada, who is also an independent, for placing priority on raising corporate profits and promised to provide free medical care for children through middle school.

Hamada drew broad-based support for his achievements over the past eight years, which included gains in business investment and tourism in the prefecture. The former Finance Ministry bureaucrat was supported by the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party for the People, Komeito and the Social Democratic Party.

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