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The Liberal Democratic Party’s closely watched presidential election officially kicked off Friday, with four contenders in the race: Taro Kono, Fumio Kishida, Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda.

The candidates will hold policy debates, outline their platforms and seek further support among LDP lawmakers and rank-and-file members up until the Sept. 29 election, which will ultimately determine Japan’s next prime minister.

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