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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 August 30 - September 5  > Opposition-backed incumbent Iwate governor wins 5th term in election
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2023 August 30 - September 5 [POLITICS]

Opposition-backed incumbent Iwate governor wins 5th term in election

September 4, 2023
In the Iwate gubernatorial election held on September 3, the incumbent governor, Tasso Takuya, who was supported by opposition parties including the Japanese Communist Party, defeated his rival, Chiba Ayako, backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties. Tasso won his fifth term in office.

In the election, along with the JCP, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party for the People worked together hard for Tasso’s victory. Tasso received 336,502 votes while Chiba obtained 232,115 votes. The voter turnout increased by 3.17 percentage points from the previous election four years ago to 56.3%.

On the night of election day, JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira at a press conference in the JCP head office in Tokyo congratulated Tasso on his successful election, and said that this indicates that many Iwate residents approved of Tasso’s policies.

Koike pointed out that as the governor of the Great East Japan Earthquake-hit prefecture of Iwate, Tasso made reconstruction efforts based on his principle of helping disaster victims to realize their right to the pursuit of happiness guaranteed under Article 13 of the Constitution. As a typical example, Koike cited that while the central government ended a program to provide free medical services to disaster victims just one year after the 2011 disaster, Tasso maintained the free-medical service program for 11 years.

Koike also pointed out that Tasso implemented the best childrearing support services such as offering free healthcare for children up to 18 years of age. In addition, Koike said that the governor took faster action compared to other governors to tackle the cost of living crisis. Tasso’s people-oriented policies attracted support from a wide range of voters, Koike added.

Asked by the press about the impact of Tasso’s victory on the political situation, Koike said that Tasso’s victory has great significance as it proves that united efforts by opposition parties and concerned citizens are effective. Koike said that Tasso’s victory underscored the fact that genuine cooperation between opposition parties in elections can lead to the defeat of LDP candidates. He expressed his determination to use this successful case as a leverage to rebuild opposition parties’ joint struggles.

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