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Okinawa Prefectural Governor candidates announced officially

Date Posted: 1998-10-30

Contestants for the Okinawa gubernatorial election will officially declare their candidacy, Friday. The election is expected to be a battle between the incumbent governor Masahide Ota, 73, and Keiichi Inamine, 65. Inamine is the former chairman of Ryukyu oil Co., and backed by the opposition Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. Mitsuo Matayoshi, 54, has also announced his candidacy, but his changes are considered neglible.

The main question the race is going to concentrate around will be the implementation of SACO agreements and the relocation of MCAS Futenma. Ota insists that any U.S. base must be relocated outside the prefecture and that all U.S. bases must be removed by 2015. Inamine advocates constructing the replacement base in the northern part of the island for the expected economic benefits to jump-start the local economy. The election day is November 15, with official campaign starting two weeks earlier.

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