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Political parties ponder gubernatorial candidates

Date Posted: 2006-08-03

The Okinawa gubernatorial election is only months away, but political parties have yet to pick their candidates.

Both the governing party and opposition parties are now getting busy in a quest to find the right candidate. Opposition parties met last week, with Shokichi Kina and Keiko Itokazu of the Democratic Party of Japan joining Mikio Shimoji, a DPJ member of the House of Representatives to talk about how to select a candidate.

The three say it’s time to ask “the Democratic Party of Japan to be at the Center,” but “we’ll tell what to do, but not now.” Itokazu says she “can’t decide by myself, but if I had a recommendation from the Socialist side, that’s fine.”

She says she’d accept being a candidate for the opposition party. Kina says he’s “Met with three people, and feel they’d all like to become a candidate.” Other Democratic Party of Japan people say they’re not so sure. They expressed shock at Keiko Itokazu’s wanting to be a candidate, because she’s refused to offer any candidate names.

The ruling government party, meanwhile, is reportedly afraid of Keiko Itokazu as a candidate, because “she’s a good speaker.” A government official says Okinawa’s women are gaining strength in the political arena, noting the election of a woman to the mayor’s seat in Okinawa City.

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