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FILE PHOTO: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a news conference after close of regular parliament session at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was on track for a stinging defeat in an election in the Japanese capital on Sunday, exit polls showed, signalling trouble for the Japanese leader, who is suffering from slumping support because of a scandal over suspected favouritism for a friend's 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 party will also be taken as a rebuke of his 4-1/2-year-old administration.

Public broadcaster NHK said Koike's Tokyo Citizens First party and its allies were on track for between 73 to 85 seats in the 127-seat assembly, while the LDP was forecast to take only between 13 and 39, down from 57 before the poll and possibly its worst showing ever.

(Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Mark Potter)

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