Shiroma wins Naha Mayor’s seat on Onaga’s coat tails
Following the resignation of former Naha City Mayor Takeshi Onaga, the election of a new Naha City Mayor took place on Sunday, the same day as the prefecture’s gubernatorial election. The ballots were counted on the same day.
The winner of the Naha mayoral election is 63-year-old former Naha City Vice Mayor Mikiko Shiroma who defeated 64-year-old Kanetoshi Yoseda, a lawyer and former Okinawa Vice Governor by a wide margin. After all the ballots were counted, Shiroma had more than 100,000 votes, the highest winning number on record in Naha mayoral election. Her opponent Yoseda had 57,768 votes and lost by a margin of 43,284 votes.
Shiroma becomes the first female Mayor in Naha City history. She ran her election campaign as an inheritor of popular former Mayor Takeshi Onaga, and received wide support from both conservative and reformist camps. She also turned out to be popular among independent voters.
Shiroma put the Futenma base issue of the top of her election campaign, and fought a three-legged election race with the support from Onaga. In addition, by emphasizing her 30-year working experience in the education environment, Shiroma created a campaign theme of an improvement plan for education in Naha schools that was effective in garnering support from women voters.
The number of the eligible voters in the Naha mayoral election was 248,914. 65.25% of the electorate cast a ballot, which is 25.82 points higher rate than in the previous election.