In a tightly fought race, Yasutomo Suzuki, the four-time mayor of the city of Hamamatsu, was elected as the next governor of Shizuoka Prefecture on Sunday, beating the ruling Liberal Democratic Party-backed candidate Shinichi Omura by a 5% margin, or 77,487 votes.

The 66-year-old’s victory could pave the way for restarting the maglev train line project that has been delayed due to opposition from his predecessor, and comes as a further blow to the LDP after opposition-backed candidates won three Lower House by-elections just last month.

Suzuki, who will become Shizuoka's first new governor in 15 years, was jointly endorsed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People. Both Suzuki and Omura support the maglev project and offered little difference in terms of policy.