A former deputy mayor backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party won the Ginowan mayoral election in Okinawa on Sunday, beating a rival opposed to the planned relocation of a U.S. base in the city to a coastal district.
Masanori Matsugawa, 65, defeated company executive Harumasa Nakanishi, 57, a former head of a union of Okinawa high school parent-teacher associations. The election was held to pick a successor to Atsushi Sakima, 54, who unsuccessfully ran in the Okinawa gubernatorial race held the same day.
Matsugawa, supported by the LDP, its coalition partner Komeito and two opposition parties, did not clarify his stance on the plan to move the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a crowded residential area of Ginowan to the less populated coastal district of Henoko in Nago, both in Okinawa.
Nakanishi was backed by the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People and other opposition forces.
Voter turnout was 64.26 percent.