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LEAD: Ex-bureaucrat Katayama wins in Shizuoka.

SHIZUOKA, Japan, Sept. 12 Kyodo

(EDS: UPDATING WITH KATAYAMA'S COMMENTS)

Former Finance Ministry bureaucrat Satsuki Katayama captured the Shizuoka No. 7 district House of Representatives seat in Sunday's general election, ousting an opponent of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's postal reforms, election results showed.

Katayama, 46, touted by Koizumi as a ''madonna of reform'' and running on the ruling Liberal Democratic Party ticket, beat independent Minoru Kiuchi, 40, a former diplomat and LDP rebel who voted against the postal reform bills, by 748 votes.

Another candidate in the constituency was Takuya Abe, 38, a former local city assemblyman of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

''I am glad that people supported reforms starting from postal privatization as a breakthrough. Thank you very much,'' Katayama, wearing a pink jacket, told supporters at her campaign office in Hamamatsu.

After hearing that she was assured of victory in the constituency, Katayama bowed to supporters who swarmed around the office and said, ''I owe what I am now to everyone. I cannot thank you enough.''

The first female budget examiner at the Finance Ministry quit her job in mid-August after Koizumi personally tapped her to run against Kiuchi as a ''parachute candidate'' in Shizuoka.

The former beauty queen at the prestigious University of Tokyo was one of more than 30 candidates Koizumi fielded against the LDP dissidents. The candidates include many high-profile women.

Kiuchi said the battle with Katayama and Abe was ''unpredictable until the last minute'' and that Koizumi's election tactics were ''skillful.''

Katayama is known for waging a battle against the Defense Agency last year in which she insisted on drastically cutting defense equipment budgets.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Sep 12, 2005
Words:272
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