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LDP, governor's upstart group neck and neck in Tokyo race

Tomin First leads by less than a point despite Koike's popularity

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike campaigns on the streets of the capital June 25.

TOKYO -- The two main parties in Tokyo's metropolitan assembly election are seeing similar levels of support about a week before the July 2 vote, with Gov. Yuriko Koike's new political group only narrowly ahead of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Koike's Tomin First no Kai, a local party pledging to put "Tokyoites first," polled at 26.7% to the LDP's 25.9% of the 1,028 respondents to a telephone survey of Tokyo households with eligible voters, conducted Saturday and Sunday by Nikkei Inc. and eight other news organizations. Another 13% of those surveyed plan to vote for the Japanese Communist Party; 12.3% for Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner on the national level; and 8.4% for the Democratic Party.

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