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Losses in three special elections for parliamentary seats in a single day have left Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in search of a way to quickly boost support or risk joining a long list of short-serving prime ministers.

Support for Suga, who succeeded his long-time boss, Shinzo Abe, last year, has been dragged down by corruption scandals and a sluggish COVID-19 response. The triple loss in the weekend elections came on the same day that a new virus emergency was imposed on about a quarter of the population, adding to Suga’s woes with the clock ticking for a general election that must be held within six months.

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