Nagano voters opt for 'no more dams' policy

A former governor who had been rejected by the prefectural assembly was reinstated to his previous post by a landslide in a gubernatorial election in Nagano Prefecture on September 1. In the prefecture with a population of 2.2 million, the majority of voters supported the candidate who has promised an open and fair administration, a "no more dams" policy, and public works projects that truly improve the standard of living,

Tanaka Yasuo received more than 822,897 votes (64.28 percent of the votes cast). His challenger, Hasegawa Keiko, who was backed by a coalition that included the local Liberal Democratic, Democratic and Komei parties, obtained only about 400,000 votes.

The JCP was the only political party to express support for Tanaka who carried out an independent campaign for his election. Tanaka did not want any political party to give him organizational support. The JCP was also the only party that opposed the no-confidence motion against Tanaka in the prefectural assembly.

JCP comment

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo published a comment on the election result as follows:

"The landslide victory of candidate Tanaka Yasuo in the Nagano gubernatorial election shows a victory for Nagano voters' good sense. It's a wonderful victory that gives the nation great hope.

"Nagano's people categorically rejected the outrageous no-confidence motion against Governor Tanaka in the prefectural assembly.

"They definitely wanted their government to give priority to such measures as improving their welfare standards and living conditions instead of major development-first policies, such as the construction of dams.

"The election turnout also indicates that a tide toward new local politics, in which the residents can be major players, has been strenuously developing."

Tanaka's policy is renovated everyday, said Akahata of September 2. For example, as regards the annexation of cities, towns, and villages which has been going fervent under the LDP-led government, Tanaka began to call for opposition to this, though he initially expressed understanding to the policy.

On the people's petition to the governor a class size of less than 30 pupils at each school class, with a half million signatures, Tanaka finally accepted it, though he had been reluctant to this because he had said what is needed is the improvement of teacher skills.

Whenever he understands that it benefits the public, Tanaka always makes a quick response to each item, Akahata said. (end)