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Asato resigns; Iha will seek old Ginowan job

Date Posted: 2012-01-13

The former mayor of Ginowan has wasted no time in tossing his hat into the ring to get his old job back after Mayor Takeshi Asato calls it quits.

Yoichi Iha, the fiery 60-year-old anti-American, anti-base mayor who’d led the central Okinawa city until he resigned two years ago in a bid to become Okinawa governor, will seek the position now vacated by Mayor Asato, who announced his resignation due to health issues. Iha says his enthusiasm is high as “I will come to grips with current city government operations with discussions with many groups, staff and residents.”

He plans to use “Discussion” as a slogan to describe his idea as the basis of the city government operation. Regarding the next Okinawa Prefecture Gubernatorial election, Iha said he has given up his ambitions. “I have decided that I don’t concern myself about the next prefectural governor election.”

MCAS Futenma problem isn’t going to go far away from Iha, who says that while withdrawal of U.S. Marines and relocation to Australia are being discussed by intellectuals in America, “I will fight against permitting the deployment of Osprey aircraft in Futenma.” The former mayor says he will “continue demanding relocation of MCAS Futenma to overseas, or at least outside of Okinawa, and I will thrive to close and return this most dangerous base.”

Talking about improvements to the economy, Iha emphasized that tax revenues and estimates were increased from after the time of Ginowan City Mayor Asato’s inauguration, and resulted in such actions as introduction of plans to construct large commerce facilities to the west seashore.

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