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Uehara declines to run for governor, opts for House of Representatives

Date Posted: 1998-07-24

Kosuke Uehara, a member of the House of Representatives, announced his decision not to run for Okinawa Governor in November, at a press conference, Tuesday. Distributing leaflets to reporters describing his decision, he said that he had made up his mind only the night before. "Instead of running for the governor's post, I will concentrate on my re-election to the House of Representatives," he said.

In explaining the reasoning behind his decision, Uehara said that it would be difficult to gather sufficient support in the short time leading to the governor's election. He also admitted that the recent results of the Upper House elections had an impact on his decision. In the election, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan suffered a crushing defeat, and especially in Okinawa, the candidate backed by the LDP lost to the incumbent who is a staunch supporter of Governor Ota and his politics.

Uehara was also informed on the same day that his name was removed from the party member rosters of the Social Democratic Party. Uehara has expressed his intention to join the Democratic Party of Japan.

Following Uehara's announcement, the Okinawa Chapter of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan decided that the party will nominate its own candidate by Aug. 15. "We know that this is going to be an uphill battle, but we have to try," LDP Okinawa Chapter Yushi Onaga said.

At the same time, Uehara reiterated his opposition to what he called the "All or nothing" policy of Gov. Ota and his supporters. "I will lend my support to anyone who thinks along the same lines as myself," Uehara stated.

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