Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 28 - December 4  > JCP mayor reelected for 4th consecutive term
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2007 November 28 - December 4 [JCP]

JCP mayor reelected for 4th consecutive term

November 28 & 29, 2007
Japanese Communist Party member Shimada Masayoshi was reelected to the office of mayor of Fukusaki Town, a rural town in Hyogo Prefecture, for his fourth consecutive term on November 28.

Unlike the past three mayoral elections in which heated contests took place, Shimada was reelected unopposed this time, showing that his 12-year old administration has gained the overwhelming support of the residents.

“The election was uncontested because no one could have beaten Mayor Shimada. The people feel safe with him leading the town government,” said Oguni Masako, a conservative member of the town assembly. She went on to say, “Sometimes I have raised objections in regard to individual questions, but as a whole I agree with his policies.”

Shimada has fulfilled almost all his public promises.

Fukusaki became the first town among the neighboring towns to offer free medical services for children aged six or younger. In April this year, the town raised the eligible age to 12, attaining the highest level in the prefecture.

Mayor Shimada constructed the second municipal day-care center and started to provide day services in every neighborhood. He also launched free of charge community bus services in the town. In 2005, the town opened a municipal library which is accessible to disabled and elderly people. The Hyogo Prefectural Government commended the facility.

A public sewage system, a long time wish of residents, came into service in 2005. With the introduction of a new subsidy system, residents have been increasingly applying for connection to the sewage system.

The town is also attracting enterprises. Out of three industrial complexes in the town, two are already fully occupied. Corporations are now moving into the last one.

The Shimada administration successfully removed the cause of accounting fraud uncovered at a municipal facility producing local food-stuff and developed an effective system to disclose information.

Under the residents-oriented town administration, the town’s population grew from 19,582 in 2000 to 20,669 in 2005, a tendency unseen in other towns in the area.

Many residents have noticed the increase of young families building their homes in the town. “It is great help for us to have my children go to hospital without charge. We have a new library. This town is very good for children,” said a 40-year-old mother with two children.

A 78 year-old resident said, “My friend living in a neighboring town said to me, ‘You are lucky to live in Fukusaki,’ because the sewage system has reached my house.”

Okamoto Masanobu, secretary general of the “Association to Build a Bright Fukusaki Town” which supports Shimada, said, “The election being uncontested means that the residents trust the mayor. I also support a Democratic Party Dietmember. So, at the time of the mayoral election 12 years ago, I was often asked, ‘Why are you supporting the JCP member?’ But today they said to me, ‘You must be happy to have supported Mr. Shimada’.”
- Akahata, November 28 & 29, 2007
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved