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Sixteen candidates hit streets in run-up to September 11th elections

Date Posted: 2005-09-01

Politicians got the green light Wednesday to begin campaigns for election to the 44th House of Representatives.

The out of season elections come in the wake of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s stinging defeat of his postal system privatization bill, and his decision to dissolve the House of Representatives. Across the nation, hundreds of candidates will be campaigning these next two weeks either trying to get reelected, or to unseat an incumbent for the House session that begins in October.

In Okinawa, 16 candidates are waging battle in four election districts. One winner will emerge from each, plus an additional winner to fill the proportional representation constituency area. One candidate, the Liberal Democracy Party’s Seiji Nakamura, is already in that race.

Naha City forms the nucleus of the 1st Election District, which also encompasses Tokashiki, Zamami, Agimi, Tonaki, Kume Town and Miyako Jima. The four candidates are the Religious Koumei Party’s Daichi Shiraho, 63, Seiken Akamine, 57, of the Communist Party, and independent candidates Mikio Shimoji, 44, and Hideyuki Uehara, 31.

The 2nd Election District covers Ginowan and Urasoe Cities, Yomitan, Kitanakagusuku and Nakagusuku Villages, and Kadena, Chatan and Nishihara Towns. The four facing the voters in this 2nd District are Kemtoku Teruya, 60, of the Socialist Party, 49-year-old Osamu Ashitomi of the Liberal Democracy Party, Morinobu Nishihira, 55, representing the Communist Party, and independent candidate Noboru Shimajiri, 47.

Northern Okinawa’s 3rd Election District blankets Nago and Uruma Cities, and Kunigami, Ogimi, Nakijin, Higashi, Onna, Ginoza, Ie and Iheya Villages, and Motobu and Kin Towns. Chiken Kakazu, 64, is being put forth by the Liberal Democracy Party, while Denny Tamaki, 45, represents the Democratic Party. Also competing are Mitsuko Toumon, 62, of the Socialist Party, and Ken Inohara, 29, of the Communist Party.

The other area, the 4th Election District, is covering Ishigaki, Hirara, Itoman and Tomishiro Cities, Kochinda, Irabu, Taketomi, Yonaguni, Shimoji and Haebaru Towns, and Tamagusuku, Gushikami, Sashiki, Yanabaru, Ozato, Ueno and Tarama Villages. The Liberal Democracy Party’s candidate is Kousaburo Nishime, 51, while the Democratic Party is putting up Tadahiro Miyaguni, 43. The New People’s Party has Hiroshi Kinjo, 57, running, while the Communist Party has designated Tamotsu Maezato.

The 13-day election campaign will see candidates criss-crossing the island reaching out to voters, and that will include plenty of street corner postings to wave to drivers. There will also be dozens of noisy election campaign vehicles traveling into most neighborhoods.

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