Democratic independent candidate gets 40 percent in Kyoto mayoral election

An independent candidate backed by the Japanese Communist Party put up a good fight in the Kyoto mayoral election on February 8. Candidate Hirohara Moriaki who ran from the broad coalition, "Kyoto Citizens' Network -Spring 2004", received 174,847 votes (40.5 percent). Voter turnout was 38.58 percent.

Incumbent Mayor Masumoto Yorikane, supported by the Liberal Democratic, Komei, Democratic, and Social Democratic parties, was reelected with 231,822 votes.

Hirohara in his campaign called for the city administration to be changed into one that will preserve Kyoto's historical landscape and one that safeguards residents' livelihoods. He also called for opposition to the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq.

Masumoto called for the construction of high-rise buildings and expressways. Rejecting a proposal for public debates with other candidates, he tried to spread anti-communist lies. (end)

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