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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 January 13 - 19  > 'All Okinawa'-backed candidate wins in Miyakojima City mayoral election
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2021 January 13 - 19 TOP3 [POLITICS]

'All Okinawa'-backed candidate wins in Miyakojima City mayoral election

January 19, 2021
An "All Okinawa"-backed candidate on January 17 won in the Miyakojima City mayoral election in Okinawa with 15,757 votes, beating the incumbent backed by the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties.

Zakimi Kazuyuki who received support also from several conservative groups has become the mayor-elect by a 2,782-vote margin.

This was a breakthrough victory giving momentum to All Okinawa's future prospects in the upcoming general election as well as mayoral elections to come in Okinawa.

The latest election was a head-to-head race between Zakimi and Shimoji Toshihiko who sought his fourth term as mayor. In the election campaign, Zakimi promised to realize a citizen-oriented city administration, attracting many non-party affiliated voters.

The sitting mayor does not pay attention to the voices of the citizens and always falls in line with the central government's position, tolerating the planned deployment of a Ground Self-Defense Force missile base and the construction of an ammunition depot in the city. The GSDF base and the munitions depot were the two main campaign issues.

Regarding these issues, Zakimi in response to an open letter from a civic organization said, "I will demand the cancellation of construction work if it cannot guarantee that residents' lives, properties, and safe living environments will be protected." In contrast, the present mayor did not respond to the open letter.

As a preliminary skirmish of the Okinawa gubernatorial election slated for next year, not only the LDP headquarters in Tokyo but also the Prime Minister's Office sent many campaign staff to Miyakojima City to support the incumbent. It was as if it were a national election.

However, the election resulted in the defeat of the present mayor who also heads "Team Okinawa" consisting of pro-Henoko base mayors in Okinawa, giving the LDP/Komei government led by PM Suga a significant blow.

Past related articles:
> Citizens of Okinawa's 5 cities abstaining from Henoko vote demand equal opportunity to vote on the referendum [January 16 & 17, 2019]
> Okinawa governor requests Miyakojima mayor to rethink his refusal to participate in Henoko referendum [January 10, 2019]
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