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JCP wins another mayoral election in Nagano Prefecture

In the mayoral election in Miyota Town in Nagano Prefecture in central Japan on February 18, Moteki Yuji, former Japanese Communist Party assembly member, supported by the Association for a Bright Miyota Town, was elected, defeating the incumbent mayor.

He is now the second Communist mayor to be elected in Nagano Prefecture after Kiso Town Mayor Tanaka Katsumi, and the 8th in Japan.

Miyota Town, with a population of 14,000, has the highest national health insurance premiums in Nagano and the highest number of people without health insurance due to non-payment of premiums. Townspeople have endured consecutive increases in sewerage rates and child care fees.

In contrast, the town administration has allotted 40 million yen a year for projects devoted to serving a special interest group in the name of efforts to eradicate discrimination. It paid 6 million yen in subsidies to the interest group called Buraku Liberation League (Kaido). A Kaido official received tax money for his trip organized in the name of "overseas inspections," which met with public criticism.

Last December, a section chief of the town office in charge of discriminated hamlets (buraku) killed himself.

As a JCP assembly member, Moteki investigated Kaido's misconduct and the town's weak-kneed attitude toward Kaido. As a result, the former mayor had to admit that the town administration has been subjugated to political pressure from Kaido.

More than 200 townspeople, including conservatives and independents, campaigned in support of Moteki, some speaking using megaphones. A former vice mayor and conservative assembly members made speeches from Moteki's car.
- Akahata, February 19, 2007

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