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Optimism about future secures Shimabukuro Uruma mayor's seat

Date Posted: 2009-04-23

Toshio Shimabukuro, who campaigned for office with promises of resurrecting tourism, increasing jobs and fixing up deteriorating city facilities, soundly defeated his two competitors to win the Uruma City mayor’s job.

Voters picked Shimabukuro, a former Uruma City Assembly chairman, by more than 4,000 votes over two other candidates Sunday. Shimabukuro scored 25,260 votes, while Yuuji Shuri picked up 21,112. Junsuke Gushiken, the 67-year-old former mayor of Yonashiro Town, was trounced, winning only 6,790 votes. Voter turnout was 62.55%.

The youngest of the three mayoral candidates at age 56, Shimabukuro is the first elected mayor since the 2005 merger of four municipalities to form Uruma City. Until the merger, Ishikawa, Gushikawa, Katsuren and Yonashiro were separate municipalities. Shimabukuro ran as an independent, but carried the backing of both the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito. He also had the personal endorsement of Okinawa’s governor, Hirokazu Nakaima.

Shimabukuro is promising to improve the effectiveness of Uruma City, insuring that a vital IT Support Center, the Gushikawa Nurse School building and the Health Welfare Center building all receive much needed maintenance, and improving development plans for Nakagusuku Harbor. He also pledged to consolidate Uruma City offices and other municipal facilities in order to reduce the budget.



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