Incumbents keep seats in Okinawa local elections

The ballots of the Okinawa local elections 2014 at five cities, six towns and 13 villages throughout the prefecture were counted yesterday, expect for Taketomi Town.  All of 337 seats except for Taketomi were confirmed by 2 a.m. today. 60.74% of eligible voters cast their ballots that is 2.5% vof the last election in 2010.

The Nago City Assembly election was the most closely watched attracting national attention. Local parties that support the incumbent Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine captured 14 seats against 11 seats for the parties that disapprove of Inamine. That is a decrease of one seat from before, however the results still give more than half of the seats in Inamine’s supporter hands, albeit only barely showing a divide among the local cisitzens.

The New Komeito Party that disagrees on the relocation facility building plan to move MCAS Futenma to Henoko holds two seats.  Four elections, the city mayoral election that Inamine first won in 2010 and subsequent City Assembly elections, have showed Nago citizens’ opinion of Futenma relocation.

The anti-Inamine candidates did not clarify their position on Okinawa Times’ questionnaire regarding the construction plan in Henoko, and did not make it an issue in the campaign. Instead, they mainly campaigned on the platform of stimulating the economy of the city and criticized Inamine Administration. In Nago City, there were 46,219 eligible voters on the Election Day, and the voting rate was 70.40%, which is marks record-low turnout.

The breakdown of the total of the 23 municipalities is 235 incumbents, 91 new faces and 11 of former members won seats.   Females hold now 34 seats, which is 26 more than in the last election.

In Okinawa City, 16 of ruling party members won seats out of 30 available. 19 of them are incumbents, and ten are new faces, and one is a former member.

In Ginowan City, incumbents won 21 of the 26 seats, with five new faces. The ruling party members number 15, and hold comfortably more than half of the seats.

In Nanjo City, incumbents won 13 of the 20 seats with seven new members.

In Ishigaki City, incumbents won 16 of the 22 seats, with five new faces, and one former member.

Norimitsu Miyagi won the Ogimi Village mayoral race. Miyagi has served seven terms as a Village Assembly member.