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Likely Ota challenger found

Date Posted: 1998-08-14

The search for a challenger to Okinawa Governor Masahide Ota in the coming gubernatorial elections in November seems to be hearing to the end. According to informed sources, Keiichi Inamine, 64, the chairman of Ryuseki Co., will be the likely opposition candidate to challenge the incumbent governor.

Reportedly, several heads of Okinawa business and industry organizations have met with Inamine to discuss the possibility of him running for the governor's post. He has reportedly agreed, on condition that a viable unifying platform can be found. "If you say that I am the only one who can challenge the incumbent governor, then I will do my best," Inamine reportedly told his supporters.

In order for Inamine to run for the governor, he has said that the Okinawan business organizations should unite for the common cause. They also should secure as wide political support as possible. And third, they should have a clear agenda to solve the current problems between Okinawa and Tokyo and promote Okinawan economic development.

Alhtough Inamine has yet to officially announce his candidacy, it is widely expected that he will do so by the end of this week.

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