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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 January 17 - 23  > Anti-base ‘All Okinawa’ candidate wins Nanjo City mayoral election
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2018 January 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

Anti-base ‘All Okinawa’ candidate wins Nanjo City mayoral election

January 23, 2018

In Okinawa’s Nanjo City mayoral election on January 21, Zukeran Chobin, who opposes the U.S. base construction in Henoko, won in a close contest against the pro-Henoko incumbent.

As the base construction project in Nago’s Henoko district will be the key issue in next month’s Nago City mayoral election and the gubernatorial election slated for November as well, Zukeran’s victory will give momentum to anti-base campaigns for the coming elections by the “All Okinawa Council”.

Backed by the Japanese Communist Party, Social Democratic Party, Okinawa Social Mass Party, Liberal Party, and Democratic Party, Zukeran garnered 11,429 votes. The incumbent Koja Keijun, who was endorsed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komei Party, received 11,364 votes.

During the election campaign, Zukeran appealed for the need to put an end to the Koja-led city government which turned its back on citizens’ moderate requests such as the installment of air conditioners in public schools, renovations of public toilets, and repairs of bumpy roads.

Governor Onaga Takeshi delivered campaign speeches together with Zukeran. The two called for voters’ support for the closure and removal of the U.S. Futenma base, the cancellation of the relocation of the Futenma base within the prefecture, and the redeployment of U.S. Osprey out of Okinawa.

The incumbent mayor Koja heads the pro-Henoko base group called “Team Okinawa” which was formed by nine municipal heads in the prefecture to wage a counter-campaign against the All Okinawa Council. The LDP dispatched its executives and former ministers to Nanjo to assist Koja.

Commenting on the election result, All Okinawa Council co-head Oyakawa Seiichi, who is also the chief of the supporters’ group of Zukeran, said that Zukeran’s victory will help toward resolving the U.S. base issues, including the Futenma relocation.

Past related articles:
> ’All Okinawa council’ against Henoko base project formed [December 15, 2015]
> Okinawa’s municipal leaders rally in Tokyo for withdrawal of Ospreys [January 28, 2013]
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