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The result of the Shizuoka gubernatorial election could be a bad omen for Prime Minister Taro Aso and the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito. Mr. Heita Kawakatsu, 60, an economic history scholar, who was supported by the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party, and People’s New Party, nosed out Ms. Yukiko Sakamoto, 60, backed by the ruling coalition.

Against the backdrop of the Shizuoka victory, if the DPJ has a strong showing against the the ruling coalition in the July 12 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, the LDP could slip into chaos, followed by calls from within the party for Mr. Aso’s resignation.

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