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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 October 23 - 29  > Urasoe mayor retracts pledge to oppose US military port construction
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2013 October 23 - 29 [OKINAWA]

Urasoe mayor retracts pledge to oppose US military port construction

October 23, 2013
The mayor of Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture, has betrayed his own pledge made before voters to oppose the construction of a new U.S. military port in his city.

Mayor Matsumoto Tetsuji, during the mayoral election campaign in February, declared his opposition to hosting the U.S. forces’ port and defeated the incumbent who supported the construction plan.

In the city assembly election held on the same day, Japanese Communist Party candidates achieved a one-two finish by standing against the plan to build a new port in the city as an alternative to the U.S. military port in Naha City, Okinawa.

On October 21, JCP Okinawa Prefectural Assembly member Nishime Sumie and the party’s local committee made a representation to the mayor, urging him to stick to his election pledge. Matsumoto responded by saying, “I cannot declare my clear opposition at this point.”

“This is about national security which the national and prefectural governments are also responsible for. I cannot make the decision on my own,” the mayor added.

Residents who joined in the representation expressed their anger toward the mayor, saying, “How can you ethically take the vote I cast for you to oppose the construction of a military port?” and, “You can’t betray the public promise like that.”

JCP Prefectural assembly member Nishime stressed that around 80% of residents are opposed to the construction plan. “We need to widely develop public voice urging the mayor to fulfill his election promise,” she said.

Past related article:
> JCP scores one-two finish in Urasoe City assembly election (February 13, 2013)
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