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Progressive candidate elected town head in Okinawa


In a town head election in Okinawa, a candidate backed by the Japanese Communist Party, the Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the Social Mass Party, defeated the incumbent supported by the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties.


Nishihara, a southern Okinawan town with a population of about 34,000, has restored progressive town administration for the first time in four years.


Uema Akira, the progressive unity candidate, received 8,108 votes, 40 more than the opponent, Arakaki Seiyu.


Arakaki as town head reduced by half the amount of old-age benefits and raised the starting age for the payment to 85 from 80. He installed a display of a gun that was used during the Battle of Okinawa in front of the public library. He did not call for the abolition of the health insurance system for the elderly aged 75 and over.


During the election campaign, Uema called for the adverse reform of the health insurance system to be abolished.


JCP Okinawa Prefectural Committee Chair Akamine Seiken said, gThe victory of candidate Uema signifies the beginning of the disintegration of the LDP-Komei government. We must put an end to the town administration that sees the ggunh as a symbol of peace.h                                                   - Akahata, September 9, 2008 

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