JCP-backed candidate elected Amagasaki mayor

A candidate backed by the Japanese Communist Party was elected to be the next mayor of Amagasaki City in Hyogo Prefecture on November 17.

Shirai Aya, recommended by the JCP and a citizens' coalition called the "Amagasaki Residents Group for Democratic City Administration," received 62,308 votes and defeated Miyata Yoshio, the incumbent mayor who received 57,385 votes. Miyata was backed by the Liberal Democratic, Komei, Democratic, and New Conservative parties. Amagasaki City is in Komei Party Secretary General Fuyushiba Tetsuzo's constituency.

Promoting large-scale development projects including expressway construction in preparation for the 2006 Hyogo National Athletics Meet, Amagasaki City has suffered a financial crisis.

In order to cut the city budget for education and welfare services, the city government on October proposed the "City Management Reconstruction Program," which includes an increase in child care fees and the closing of several senior and junior high schools.

Calling for the budget cuts and large-scale development plans to be reviewed, Shirai promised in the election campaign that she will work to improve the nursing care insurance system and reduce class size.

JCP-supported candidates beat incumbents in two other mayoral elections on the same day, in Kawamata Town, Fukushima Prefecture, and in Minowa Town, Nagano Prefecture.

All JCP candidates elected to Maizuru City Assembly

In Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture, all four JCP candidates were elected to the city assembly on November 17. In spite of a decrease of two assembly seats and the Komei Party's fierce anti-JCP campaign, the JCP succeeded in securing an extra seat. (end)