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(Update) LDP Suffers Major Defeat in Tokyo Assembly By-Elections

(Update) 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, 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.
   A former Tokyo assembly member fielded by the LDP lost in the constituency of Koto Ward, which was shaken by scandals including an election law violation case involving a former House of Representative member who was elected from the ward and belonged to the LDP. An LDP candidate also lost in Adachi Ward, in a close one-on-one contest against a newcomer from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the main opposition party in national politics.
   Komeito, the LDP's junior coalition partner in national politics, did not to endorse LDP candidates in the by-elections as it chose to focus on the Tokyo gubernatorial election also held on Sunday. This is believed to have contributed to the LDP's defeat as well.
   Still, the LDP maintained its status as the leading force in the 127-member assembly, now holding 30 seats.

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