Anti-base mayor elected in Ginowan City, Okinawa

Citizens of Ginowan City, Okinawa, with the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station, elected a new mayor backed by the opposition parties who advocates no new U.S. bases in Okinawa.

Iha Yoichi defeated a candidate supported by the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties in the latter half of the simultaneous local elections on April 27.

Iha, former Okinawa prefectural assembly member, called for opposition to the plan to relocate the U.S. Futenma Air Station within Okinawa, and was supported by the Japanese Communist, Okinawa Social Mass, Social Democratic, and Democratic parties.

The former mayor was arrested for being involved in illegal political contributions, and the citizens chose "clean and fair" Iha.

Advocating that the relocation of the U.S. base from Ginowan to Nago City will bring much money to Ginowan, the LDP and Komei Party mobilized hundreds of election campaigners from construction-related companies throughout the island and used every possible means, but in vain.

Iha got 17,583 votes against the opponent's 16,873. (end)

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