All nine Okinawan candidates win seats in election

The 47th Japanese Lower House Election was held Sunday, and the results are in.  The ruling parties, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito, won a combined 325 seats out of 475, which exceeds two thirds of the total number of seats in the Diet, the Japanese parliament.

In the four single-seat electoral districts of Okinawa, 66-year-old Seiken Akamine of the Japan Communist Party won a seat in the 1st electoral district, the first time in the whole country in 18 years that the JCP has managed to win in a single-seat district since the single-seat constituency system was introduced in 1996.  Other winners in Okinawa are 69-year-old Kantoku Teruya representing the Social Democratic Party in the 2nd district, Denny Tamaki, a 55-year-old incumbent of the People’s Life Party in the 3rd district, and 77-year-old new face, a former LDP member Toshinobu Nakazato in the 4th district who ran as an independent opposing the Futenma relocation.  All four won mainly on their opposition to the relocation of the MCAS Futenma to Henoko, and all defeated the official LDP candidates. LDP supports the relocation plan.

However, the LDP candidates from Okinawa who were defeated in the single-seat constituencies were all elected through the proportional representation system. They are 41-year-old Konosuke Kokuba, 49-year-old Masahisa Miyazaki, 56-year-old Natsumi Higa and 60-year-old Kozaburo Nishime who all represent LDP. 53-year-old Mikio Shimoji, a representative of the Japan Restoration Party, also won a seat through the proportional system in the Kyushu block.

In the end, all candidates who ran the race in Okinawa won seats.  It turned out that the total number of seats held by Okinawan politicians increased by two seats to nine.  The voting rate in Okinawa was 52.36%, the lowest since Okinawa participated in the national elections for the first time in 1970.