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Competition emerges in Urasoe mayor’s contest

Date Posted: 2004-11-26

An educator has tossed his hat into the Urasoe political ring, announcing he’ll run for mayor against incumbent Mitsuo Gima.

Minoru Higa made his declaration earlier this week, saying he will make an official announcement in early December to go “one on one” with Gima, who’s already said he will seek a second term. Higa is a former director of Hosei University Okinawa Cultural Institute.

The 61-year-old challenger began gathering momentum several months ago, when he staked a position on changes to the U.S. military presence on Okinawa. He initially favored the Futenma move to Henoko, but now opposes it, calling for relocation of troops and bases out of Okinawa and Japan.

Higa, 61, is also voicing concerns against the planned Naha Military Port move to Urasoe in the next few years. He disagrees with the present mayor on the issue, saying the residents didn’t have enough information to favor building the new port. He’s calling for renewed dialogue on the project, which has already been approved by both Naha and Urasoe Cities.

The reform candidate, an Urasoe native, has twice before run as a candidate for Urasoe mayor.

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