• Kyodo

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Official campaigning for the Osaka mayoral election began Sunday, with Osaka Prefecture’s former governor, Ichiro Matsui, facing off against a ruling Liberal Democratic Party-backed challenger opposed to the controversial idea of restructuring the city into a metropolis.

The city of Osaka this month joined a number of local governments scheduled to hold gubernatorial, mayoral and assembly elections on April 7 after Osaka Gov. Matsui and Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura both resigned in a bid to swap their positions. Matsui’s successor will also be picked on April 7.

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