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Japan maglev critic reelected in Shizuoka, claiming green mandate

Governor's victory casts uncertainty over rail line already behind schedule

A prototype maglev train sits at a testing center in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.   © Kyodo

SHIZUOKA, Japan/NAGOYA, Japan/TOKYO -- A Japanese governor whose environmental concerns have held up construction on a segment of ultrahigh-speed-rail project worth more than $60 billion won reelection Sunday, securing a fourth term.

Heita Kawakatsu, who ran as an independent, defeated a challenger backed by Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Shizuoka Prefecture, home to the most-photographed face of Mount Fuji southwest of Tokyo.

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