Miyakojim City incumbent wins mayoral election

The mayoral election in Miyakojima City last weekend resulted in the incumbent 71-year-ol Toshihiko Shimoji retaining his post.

Shimoji, representing th Libera Democratic Psrty, won 9,588 votes to retain the mayor’s seat in a field of four candidates. In his campaign, Shimoji emphasized his economic policies and eight-year experience as a mayor. The election was also seen as an approval of the electorate on his intention to agree to the deployment of additional Japan Ground Self Defense Forces on the island.

Competing with Shimoji were 67-year-old Kazuo Okuhira, a new comer and an ex-member of Prefectural Assembly of the Democratic Party, ex-city council member Tokuhiko Maeshiro, 67, and Noboru Shimoji, 63, a doctor backed by the Social Democratic Party.

The voter turnout was 68.23% that is 2.97% less than the previous election when 71.2% of people cast the ballot.

After being declared as the winner, Shimoji stated, “I would like to invigorate Miyakojima more.”

Regarding the deployment of the JGSD unit on the island, the Ministry of Defense is now proceeding to acquire the land needed for the unit. It’s predicted that the land acquisition would be accelerated because this is Shimoji’s third term as the mayor.

On the other hand, Shimoji won the election by only a narrow margin to Okuhira, who campaigned against the JGSD deployment plan. It means that a large portion of residents have the same opinion with Okuhira, and the focus will be on how Shimoji would placate them.