Susumu Inamine wins Nago mayoral election

Incumbent Susumu Inamine has won the mayoral election in Nago, Sunday, ensuring the plan to build a new facility to Nago’s Henoko district to replace MCAS Futenma faces further complications.

In the election, Inamine garnered 19,839 votes against Bunshin Suematsu’s 15,863 ballot count. Suematsu was backing the relocation plan on the grounds of massive economic incentives that the government in Tokyo had promised. Inamine promised to use every means in his power as a mayor to block the construction of the new base. The voter turnout in the election was 76.71 percent, slightly down from the previous election. A record number of people, 15,835 or about a third of eligible voters, voted early

In the election The Japan Communist Party, the People’s Life Party and the Social Democratic Party in addition to some local groups backed Inamine in the election. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party supported Suematsu.

Inamine’s victory is expected to have a negative effect on the Futenma transfer plan, which the Abe cabinet had hoped to enact quickly after Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima approved the required land filling plan just before the New Year.