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Voting begins in Gifu gubernatorial election.

GIFU, Japan, Jan. 27 Kyodo

Voting began Sunday in a gubernatorial election in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, with the incumbent backed by several major parties seeking a third four-year term in a race against a challenger from the Japanese Communist Party.

Gov. Hajime Furuta, a 65-year-old independent, is backed by the Liberal Democratic Party, the New Komeito party, and the Democratic Party of Japan. He is also supported by a local chapter of the Japan Restoration Party.

The challenger, Masanori Suzuki, 49, a permanent committee member of the Japanese Communist Party's Gifu chapter, has criticized the governor's efforts to build the Uchigatani dam in the city of Gujyo and called for increased welfare spending.

Furuta is highlighting his achievements during his previous two terms, such as administrative reforms, while pledging to enhance the prefecture's countermeasures against natural and nuclear disasters.

The outcome is expected to be known Sunday night after voting concludes at 8 p.m.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jan 28, 2013
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