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Former Health and Welfare Minister Junichiro Koizumi's sweeping victory in the prefectural preliminaries of the Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election has paved the way for his eventual victory in a ballot that included votes cast by LDP lawmakers Tuesday.
"I didn't expect such a dramatic result myself," Koizumi said in Niigata on Monday, with victory already in sight.
Koizumi won in 41 out of 47 prefectures, including Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, and came in second in five others.
Ryutaro Hashimoto, state minister for administrative reforms, came in first in five prefectures, including his constituency of Okayama Prefecture, and Kyoto …