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Gima wins a third term as Urasoe City mayor

Date Posted: 2009-02-12

Mitsuo Gima has won a third term as mayor of Urasoe City, easily outdistancing two competitors who wanted the top spot in City Hall.

The incumbent mayor, running on a campaign slogan ‘The Party of Citizens’ won 25,624 votes in Sunday’s election well ahead of the 19,275 votes tallied by Minoru Higa, and even farther ahead of the Communist Party candidate, Morinobu Nishihira, who garnered 6,402 votes. Gima, long affiliated with the Liberal Democratic Party, ran as an independent on this year’s ticket to downplay voter disillusionment with the LDP, which was beaten by opposition parties in last year’s Prefecture Assembly elections.

Gima, who first entered the political arena with his election to a seat on the Urasoe City Assembly in 1973, was first elected mayor in 2001. His political fortunes rose with his election to the Prefecture Assembly, which Gima ultimately became leader of. This year he pledged to both create a resort area and an International harbor Physical Distribution Center in the city to create jobs.

During his two earlier terms, Gima formed the Naha Harbor Management Association and began promoting the west coast seaside development, extending the monorail system to include an Urasoe City route, and created a citizen’s university. The 65-year-old mayor, an Izena village native, is married and has three children.

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