: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: News
Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

Conservative Wins Urasoe Mayor’s Post

Date Posted: 2001-02-16

Mitsuo Gima, 57, was elected Urasoe City Mayor in the election held Sunday. The Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito, other conservative organizations and the city’s business community back him. Gima is a former Urasoe City Assembly member, four-time Okinawa Prefecture Assembly member and the former chairman of the Assembly. In the election he garnered 19,738 votes. Minoru Higa, 57, another conservative, got 18,553 votes and the incumbent Kenichi Miyagi, 67, came in third with15,762 votes. Of those eligible to vote, 73.4 percent participated.

Prior to the election, many conservative supporters worried that having two conservative candidates, Gima and Higa, would result in the sole leftist, the incumbent Miyagi winning the election. That is exactly what happened in the previous election four years ago when Higa won by mere 200 votes.

The focal point of the election was the proposed transfer of the Naha Military Port to a new location in Urasoe City. The new harbor would be built on a landfill outside Camp Kinser. Both the conservative candidates were for the transfer, whereas the incumbent opposed the move. Until last October, Mayor Miygi also had expressed his support for the move, but recanted after the socialists and communists announced that they would withdraw their support for him if he continued to support the move.

With the election of Gima, and the recent election victory of conservative Takeshi Onaga for Naha City Mayor’s post, the move of the port facility that was first decided on 27 years ago, is expected to be realized swiftly. In fact Naha City and Urasoe City officials together with officials from the prefecture announced first thing on Monday morning that they will establish a Naha Military Port Transfer Project Office as early as next month to coordinate the move. The move is widely expected to boost the economic fortunes of Urasoe City, once the project gets fully underway.

Economic factors have recently triumphed over ideology in Okinawan local elections. In almost every election since the current Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine ousted the leftist-backed Masahide Ota from the governor’s post, the conservatives have won in local mayoral elections. They now have the mayoral post in six of Okinawa’s ten cities.

The next election will be in July when the nation goes to the polls to elect members of the upper house of the parliament, the House of Councillors. The leftists are reportedly considering asking former Okinawa Governor Ota to become a candidate, but Ota has so far refused to come out of his retirement. The Okinawa gubernatorial elections will be held in 2002, but so far no one has emerged as a challenger to Inamine, whom most agree will easily retain his job.

Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

OkistyleJU FacebookOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker