The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito won a local victory Sunday night in a gubernatorial poll in Kochi Prefecture, as voters chose to ignore national political scandals engulfing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and support the hand-picked successor of the current governor over a candidate backed by all the major opposition parties.

Seiji Hamada, 56, a former Osaka vice governor and internal affairs ministry bureaucrat strongly supported by the LDP and Komeito, defeated Kenji Matsumoto, 35, a member of the Kochi chapter of the Japanese Communist Party who was supported by all the major opposition parties.

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