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Left and Right Vie for Mayoral Post

Date Posted: 2000-09-15

Naha City mayoral elections are two months away, and their respective supporters have officially named the main candidates. Michiko Horikawa, 59, a civil servant at Okinawa Prefecture Social Welfare Office and Takeshi Onaga, 49, a former Okinawa Prefecture Assembly member are the two who will face off in the Nov. 12 election. Leftist groups back Horikawa, and the incumbent Naha City Mayor Kosei Oyadomari who is retiring after four terms also endorses her. The Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, a party with close ties to Buddhist organizations, back Onaga. In their first debate Monday at Ryukyu Shimpo Hall, Horikawa stressed social welfare issues, while Onaga countered that planning for welfare is futile as long as the city’s finances are a mess.

Most observers say that this election is the best chance for the conservatives to end the leftists’ 32-year grip of the Naha City mayor’s post.

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