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Even mayoral elections often have the biggest repercussions. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might want to ponder that as he considers what went wrong in Nago, Okinawa (population 62,000).

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party failed to dislodge incumbent Mayor Susumu Inamine in Sunday’s contest, putting Japan-U.S. relations at risk. Inamine has pledged to block the relocation of a U.S. air base to his district, something that Abe had assured Washington was a done deal.

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