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Opponent of U.S. carrier-borne aircraft deployment puts up good fight in Iwakuni mayoral election


In a hotly contested Iwakuni mayoral election held on February 10 over the planned relocation of U.S. carrier-based planes to the U.S. Iwakuni Air Station, the former mayor and opponent of the plan, lost by a narrow margin to the challenger.


Former Mayor Ihara Katsusuke received 45,299 votes, while Fukuda Yoshihiko, former Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives and dadvocate of the plan, won 47,081 votes.


These figures show that nearly half of the Iwakuni residents are not in agreement with the relocation plan.


During the election campaign, Fukuda tried to divert citizensf attention from the relocation issue by emphasizing that citizensf daily lives are at stake. Suggesting that the relocation plan is irreversible, he said, gI will negotiate with the government subsidy.h


Ihara made his opposition to the relocation plan clear by insisting that the city must not depend on the U.S. base for its survival.
- Akahata, February 12, 2008


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