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Four hopefuls take part in gubernatorial election

Date Posted: 2002-11-09

The number of official candidates in the upcoming Okinawa governorís election can down to four although eight people had announced to the Election Administration Committee Office that they would take part. However, four of them failed to deliver the required applications by the deadline.

In the election the incumbent governor Keiichi Inamine, 69, is facing a challenge from Masanori Yoshimoto, 65, a former vice governor who served under previous governor Masahide Ota and who is backed by socialist parties, and Shigenobu Arakaki, 60, who is backed by the communist party.

The fourth candidate is Mitsuo Matayoshi, a self-styled messiah and founder of a religious sect. Matayoshi says that itís his God-given duty to take part in the elections. In the last gubernatorial election Matayoshi cornered 3,200 votes.

The main difference among the candidates is how they view the U.S. bases in Okinawa and the Japan - U.S. Security Treaty. While Inamine agrees that the bases are necessary and the security treaty vital for the peace and prosperity of the region, both Arakaki and Yoshimoto are vehemently opposing. Both would like to send the U.S. military packing and close the bases.

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