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Anti- U.S. base candidate Inamine elected as Nago mayor

In the Nago City mayoral election on January 24 in Okinawa, Inamine Susumu, who opposes the construction of a new U.S. military base off the cityfs Henoko district in the name of gtransferringh the U.S. Futenma Air Station, was elected to be the next mayor.

Inaminefs victory shows that Nago residents do not want any new U.S. base, either at Henoko in Okinawa or elsewhere in Japan. Inaminefs position that economic promotional measures heavily dependent on military bases cannot improve the local residentsf livelihoods and that the city administration should be reformed to one based on justice and impartiality attracted many voters.

Inamine was recommended by the Japanese Communist Party, the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party, and the Social Mass Party. His opponent, pro-new base and incumbent Shimabukuro Yoshikazu, was supported by the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties. The voter turnout rate for the mayoral election was 77 percent.

Thirteen years have passed since the citizens of Nago voted against a new U.S. base in a referendum in December 1997, and the 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the revised Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

- Akahata, January 25, 2010

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