Tokyo governor Ishihara Shintaro (74) won a third term yesterday, with the victory coming much more easily than most pundits expected. His re-election was confirmed as early as 8pm, and he looked clearly relieved after a hard-fought campaign that had forced him to show his rarely-seen vulnerable side. More accustomed to dismissing or ignoring criticism, he made uncharacteristic concessions that public concerns over his excessively lavish travel budget and claims of nepotism should be addressed. Rival candidates also tried capitalize on the feeling that the money to fund his plans to bring the 2016 Olympics to the capital could be better spent on other projects. But even his strongest challenger, former governor of Miyagi Prefecture Asano Shiro (69), failed to come through with much more than an anti-Ishihara campaign and the winning margin was well over a million votes.