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Former Osaka municipal assemblyman Akira Yanagimoto of the Liberal Democratic Party has been tapped to run against Ichiro Matsui, the governor of Osaka Prefecture and head of Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka), in next month’s Osaka mayoral race, with the focus on whether to abolish Osaka’s 24 wards and establish four large semiautonomous districts.

Earlier this week, Matsui and current Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura announced their resignations and intention to run for each other’s positions in elections taking place on April 7, the same day as elections for the Osaka municipal and prefectural assemblies. The campaign for Osaka governor kicks off on March 21 and the mayoral campaign starts on March 24.

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