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Candidate backed by opposition parties beats LDP-supported incumbent in Yamagata gubernatorial election

A candidate supported by the Japanese Communist Party, the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party, and some Liberal Democratic Party members won the gubernatorial election in Yamagata Prefecture on January 25, beating an LDP-supported incumbent.

The JCP made a policy agreement with Yoshimura Mieko and supported her.

Yoshimura also received support from a broad spectrum of uncommitted voters, including members of the "Association for Building a Bright Yamagata Prefecture for Farmers" and workers, as well as people from commerce and industrial circles, agriculture-related people, and medical and welfare organizations.

Incumbent Saito Hiroshi has carried out cutbacks in various services that are essential for residents by carrying out the so-called "structural reform" policy of former Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro.

In sharp contrast, Yoshimura called for a democratic administration to take measures to boost the economy and create jobs, revitalize agriculture, improve childcare support programs, promote the small-size school classroom system, and improve medical and social welfare services.

She also demanded that the central government fundamentally review the Worker Dispatch Law as well as the new healthcare insurance system for people aged 75 and older, and exclude food items from the consumption tax.

On the same day, JCP Secretariat Head Ishida Tadayoshi made the following comment on the election result:

"Yoshimura's victory is a clear verdict against the pro-LDP prefectural government that has disregarded the well-being of residents by following the dictates of the national government, and also has a positive meaning with its harsh criticism of the LDP-Komei misgovernment. The JCP will continue to make efforts to strengthen grassroots activities to defend people's jobs and livelihoods in order to establish a new politics based on a basic tenet of our philosophy, which is 'for relief of people's hardships'."

- Akahata, January 26, 2009

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