Tokyo heads to polls in vote that could spell trouble for PM Abe

Peace and Freedom

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FILE PHOTO: Tokyo Governor and head of Tokyo Citizens First party Yuriko Koike (R) delivers a speech to voters atop of a campaign van as election campaign officially kicks off for Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, on the street in Tokyo June 23, 2017.REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
By Linda Sieg | TOKYO

Voters in the Japanese capital cast ballots on Sunday in an election that could spell trouble for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is suffering from slumping support because of a scandal over suspected favoritism for a friend doing business.

On the surface, the Tokyo Metropolitan assembly election is a referendum on Governor Yuriko Koike’s year in office, but a poor showing for Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will also be taken as rebuke of his 4-1/2-year-old administration.

Past Tokyo elections have been bellwethers to national trends. A 2009 Tokyo poll…

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