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POLITICS

Conservative incumbent “very likely” to lose Ginowan mayoral race

  • 2016-01-04 15:00:00
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  • Translation

(Sentaku: January 2016, p. 44)

 

 In light of the impending start of reclamation work in the coastal area of Henoko, Nago City, where the Futenma Air Station (Ginowan City, Okinawa) will be relocated, the Abe cabinet is doing everything in its power to support incumbent Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima in the mayoral race on Jan. 24. It appears that this blatant “carrot” policy has been counterproductive and Sakima is now very likely to lose. His opponent is neophyte Keiichiro Shimura, who advocates termination of operations at the Futenma base and opposes Henoko relocation.

 

 Sakima went to the Kantei (Prime Minister’s Official Residence) in December to seek support for his plan to invite a Disney resort to operate on vacated land on the Futenma base. Yet in reality this was a government plan made to appear as a proposal initiated by the mayor.

 

 If Shimura wins the election, he will work closely with Governor Takeshi Onaga, forming a triangle with Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine, another Henoko relocation opponent. Although the government intends to go ahead with reclamation in Henoko even if Shimura wins, it will be much better propaganda for the three local leaders if the government appears to be forcing its will on the local people. (Slightly abridged)

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