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Onaga makes it official; he will seek 3rd Naha City mayoral term

Date Posted: 2008-09-26

Amidst a backdrop of grilling by Naha City Assembly members on issues ranging from financial reform to higher medical costs, Mayor Takeshi Onaga announced he’ll seek a record third term to deal with contentious problems in the capital city.

Onaga faced the assembly members during its annual business meeting, explaining his solutions for problems facing the city, and pledging to reduce city costs while improving social services for citizens. He explained how he’ll approach financial reform and urban projects, promising to invite business investment from outside Okinawa to strengthen Naha City.

Confronted with the city’s decision to abandon plans for a new city office building in Omoro machi, instead selling the chosen property to generate revenues for the cash-strapped city, Onaga explained there was simply no money to build new city offices. He said it made sense to turn over the property to private developers who will contribute financially to city coffers, but Omoro machi residents are still angry and demanding the new offices and apartments construction in their neighborhoods be stopped.

Onaga committed himself to further reductions in city staff, which has only had 761 positions eliminated since 2000, when he first took office. Many of those cuts were made within the last year.

The elections take place in November.

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