Arakaki to run in Okinawa gubernatorial election representing progressive forces

Arakaki Shigenobu, director general of the Okinawa Medical Cooperatives, has announced that he will run as an independent and progressive candidate for the gubernatorial election to be held on November 17.

Arakaki was speaking at a press conference on October 4 in Naha City, Okinawa.

With this announcement, the new governor's seat will be contested by three candidates: Inamine Keiichi, incumbent, backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei Party; Yoshimoto Masanori, former vice-governor supported by the Social Democratic Party who argued that the role of the joint stuggle by Okinawa's progressive forces has faded; and Arakaki.

Arakaki is supported by the Association to Establish a Progressive and Democratic Okinawa Administration against U.S. Bases and for Peace and Better Living Conditions," which is composed of the Japanese Communist Party Okinawa Prefectural Committee, Okinawa Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions, the National Federation of Merchant and Industrialist's Organizations, as well as the New Japan Women's Association, and other organizations.

Arakaki criticized the Inamine administration for encouraging the U.S. and Japanese governments' plan to construct a new U.S. military base in Nago, and for giving priority to major public works that only favor big corporations.

The alternative to this should be reestablishing a progressive and democratic administration in Okinawa that will benefit the people's living conditions, health and education, he stressed. (end)