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Two candidates in run for Okinawa City Mayor’s post

Date Posted: 2006-04-15

The Socialist Party is putting up a candidate against the Liberal Democracy Party in next Sunday’s mayoral election in Okinawa City.

Mitsuko Tomon, who ran unsuccessfully for a House of Representatives seat, is representing the Socialist Party in the April 23rd election. She’s going against the LDP’s Sachio Kuwae.

The two candidates have very different policies on how Okinawa City’s future should go. The 50-year-old Kuwae advocates strong economic development, while worrying about the impact base closures and realignments could have on the city. His opponent wants to focus on government, parking, small businesses and public works projects for the disabled. The 65-year-old Toumon is opposed to American bases on the island.

Kuwae sees the east coast development construction as essential, and says “it should be done quickly to bring a lot of business like hotels and business.” He’s proposing the United Nations should build an International Cultural facility or Natural Environment Office on Okinawa. He expressed concerns about empty shopping arcades and employment problems which must be fixed, saying there’s much to discuss. He called for “bringing those shopping arcades and houses back to active life again.” Kuwae fears the reductions in American forces on Okinawa could affect his city’s economy.

Touman, on the other hand, is glad to see them go. “I feel very sorry that Nago City’s mayor has agreed to accept Futenma at Henoko,” she says. “I’ll never accept the military bases. They should take them outside of Okinawa.

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