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LDP Suffers Major Defeat in Tokyo Assembly By-Elections

LDP Suffers Major Defeat in Tokyo Assembly By-Elections

   Tokyo, July 8 (Jiji Press)--The Liberal Democratic Party suffered a major defeat in Sunday's by-elections for the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, chiefly reflecting a backlash caused by a high-profile slush funds scandal involving factions at the ruling party in national politics.
   The LDP fielded candidates in eight of the nine constituencies contested this time, winning seats in two constituencies, while losing in six constituencies, including in the city of Hachioji, the hometown of former LDP policy chief Koichi Hagiuda, who heads the party's Tokyo chapter. The LDP had five seats in the contested districts before the elections.
   As a result, the LDP now has 30 seats in the assembly, maintaining its status as the leading force in the 127-member assembly.
   The regional political party Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites first group) won three seats in the by-elections among the four constituencies where it fielded candidates, increasing its strength by one from the pre-election level to 28. Yuriko Koike, who won her third term as Tokyo governor in Sunday's gubernatorial election, serves as special adviser of the party.
   In the gubernatorial election, the LDP, Tomin First and Komeito, the LDP's junior coalition partner in national politics, supported Koike. The three parties are expected to continue to cooperate with Koike in her management of the metropolitan government, pundits said.

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