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SECURITY > Okinawa

Campaign starts for Urasoe mayoral election in Okinawa

  • February 6, 2017
  • , Sankei , p. 5
  • JMH Translation
  • ,

The official campaign period for the Urasoe City mayoral election in Okinawa started on Feb. 5. Both candidates are independents. The incumbent mayor Tetsuji Matsumoto, 49, who is endorsed by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, is seeking a second term, while the neophyte candidate running against him, Kentaro Matayoshi, 42, is a former city assembly member.

 

The biggest issue in this election is the relocation of the U.S. forces’ Naha Port Facility (Naha Military Port) to Urasoe City. Matsumoto accepts the relocation, while Matayoshi advocates holding a referendum on this issue. Voting is taking place on Feb. 12.

 

Matsumoto has the support of the national government and the ruling parties, while Matayoshi is supported by the forces backing Governor Takeshi Onaga.

 

Similar to the relocation of the Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City) to Henoko, Nago City, the relocation of the Naha Military Port to Urasoe will also require land reclamation. While Onaga is blocking Henoko relocation, he accepts the relocation to Urasoe, and has been criticized for his inconsistency. How he will campaign for Matayoshi in the mayoral election remains to be seen.

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