Japan's candidate has won an informal test vote meant to thin out the field of candidates to become head of the UN nuclear agency, diplomats said Tuesday.
They said Yukiya Amano received 20 votes from the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board.
South Africa's Abdul Sabad Minty was supported by 11 board members Tuesday and Spain's Luis Echavarri by four.
The "straw poll" is meant to reduce the field of five ahead of a formal vote likely on July 2.
A March vote failed to give the needed two-thirds majority to either front-runner Amano or Minty. Echavarri, Belgium's Jean-Pol Poncelet and Ernest Petric of Slovenia then joined the race.
The diplomats demanded anonymity for divulging the confidential results.