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SECURITY > Okinawa

Komeito to back LDP-affiliated candidate in Nago mayoral race

  • December 28, 2017
  • , Mainichi , p. 5
  • JMH Translation

The Okinawa prefectural headquarters of Komeito on Dec. 27 decided to recommend Taketoyo Toguchi, a 56-year-old former city assembly member backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), in the Nago mayoral election scheduled for February next year. The election will be dominated by the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma air station from its current location in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture to the Henoko area of the island prefecture’s northern coastal city of Nago. The LDP’s junior coalition partner and Toguchi will sign a policy agreement on Dec. 28. Unlike Komeito’s national headquarters, the party’s Okinawa prefectural headquarters opposes the Henoko relocation plan and allowed a free vote in the previous mayoral race. So the party’s latest decision to support Toguchi is likely to affect the election campaign.

 

According to a source familiar with the matter, Komeito has agreed with the LDP to include a request in their policies to move Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps troops out of the prefecture or Japan. Toguchi advocated the Henoko relocation plan when he was a city assembly member but has not made it clear whether he is for or against the plan since declaring his candidacy. The February mayoral election is expected to be a one-on-one race as incumbent Susumu Inamine, a 72-year-old staunch opponent of the plan who is seeking a third term, has also announced his bid for mayoral office.

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