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Last Updated: Monday, 9 April 2007, 02:16 GMT 03:16 UK
Tokyo's governor wins third term
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara waves to reporters on 8 April 2007
Mr Ishihara praised the "good sense" of voters
The nationalist governor of Tokyo has been returned to office for a third time in local elections in Japan, winning just over 50% of the vote.

Shintaro Ishihara, 74, won in one of 13 provinces where the results are seen as a test of support for the main parties ahead of Upper House polls in July.

The elections also include four mayoral races. Local assembly polls took place in prefectures and cities as well.

Mr Ishihara was backed by PM Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

"Thank you, everyone," said Mr Ishihara. "Tokyo residents' good sense brought this result."

The governor has won popular support for his straight-talking style.

But he has angered others with comments on women, history and foreign residents, who he has blamed for an upsurge in crime. He has also been hit by allegations of cronyism.

He saw his support fall in Sunday's election. When he last won, in 2003, he polled 70%.

His main rival, 59-year-old reformer Shiro Asano, backed by the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), polled just over 30%.

This summer's Upper House polls will be the first major electoral test for Prime Minister Abe since he took office in September last year.

His premiership has already been rocked by a series of scandals and gaffes. An opinion poll last month found public support for him had shrunk to just 35%.

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