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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 January 20 - 26  > Citizens-backed incumbent wins landslide victory in Yamagata gubernatorial election
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2021 January 20 - 26 [POLITICS]

Citizens-backed incumbent wins landslide victory in Yamagata gubernatorial election

January 26, 2021

In the Yamagata gubernatorial election on January 24, Yoshimura Mieko, supported by civic groups and opposition parties including the Japanese Communist Party, beat a conservative rival and secured her fourth term as governor of Yamagata Prefecture.

Yoshimura, in the one-on-one battle with her opponent backed by the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties, garnered about 400,000 votes or 70.31% of total votes cast, resulting in her landslide victory. In contrast, the LDP-Komei candidate received about 170,000 votes.

In the election campaign, Yoshimura promised to work to settle the coronavirus crisis as early as possible while protecting residents' lives and livelihoods during the crisis, and expressed that she will establish the nation's first PCR testing center which offers testing to everyone for 5,000 yen by the end of March.

Major factors that brought about her victory are that she has been defending residents from Tokyo's misgovernment and pursuing resident-oriented policies. She, for example, uniquely provided support grants to all staff at medical institutions and children's facilities in the prefecture who have been working very hard amid the pandemic. Along with anti-coronavirus measures in general, she halved the fees for after-school childcare for the second child and dispensed with fees for the third and subsequent child of low-income families. She also focused her support for small- and medium-sized enterprises, local farmers, and local job markets.

Meanwhile, the LDP-Komei candidate who was a former prefectural assemblyperson only boasted of her strong ties with the central government during the election campaign. She offered nothing in regard to COVID-19 countermeasures.

Chair of the Japanese Communist Party Yamagata Prefectural Committee, Honma Kazuya said, "Yoshimura, by presenting specific measures to combat the coronavirus, gained support from many voters which led to her landslide victory. Yamagata residents in this election showed their disapproval of the LDP-Komei government’s anti-coronavirus efforts."

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