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A crowd listens to party leaders speak in Tokyo Friday.

Tokyo vote becomes testing ground for national debates

Parties court public on issues from second-hand smoke to free education

| Japan

TOKYO -- From anti-smoking measures to waiving high school tuition, candidates in the closely watched race for the Tokyo assembly are bidding for the public's support on some of Japan's biggest policy debates.

"I hope to craft policies for Tokyo, such as on curbing second-hand smoke, that pave the way for the rest of Japan," Gov. Yuriko Koike said in a Friday speech.

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