Anti-US base candidates win all seats in Okinawa in Lower House election
December 14, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
Four candidates opposing construction of a new base won the Okinawan seats in the House of Representatives election on December 14. Following the election of a base-opposed governor in November, the issue of relocating U.S. Marine Corp Air Station Futenma in Ginowan to Henoko, Nago, became the major focal point of the national election. The election was contested between the Liberal-Democratic Party’s candidates, who back the government’s push for the Henoko relocation, and nonpartisan candidates who supported the elected Governor Takeshi Onaga’s stance against the new air base in the gubernatorial race.
In the 1st district, Seiken Akamine, 66, former member of the House of Representatives who represents the Communist Party, was elected. He was elected in the proportional representation system in the previous general elections. He became the first winning candidate of the Communist Party in the 1st district under the single-seat constituency system introduced in 1996. He is also the first winning candidate from the Communist Party in 18 years across the country.
Akamine has received the support from the bipartisan forces that promoted Onaga to the post of governor. With the help of Governor Onaga, the candidate for the communist party gained a wide-range of support from other opposition parties and independents. He succeeded in gaining the votes of conservative and centrist parties.
Former chairman of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly Toshinobu Nakazato, 77, an independent candidate, won the seat in the 4th district. He campaigned on his partnership with Governor Onaga. Former House of Representatives member Kantoku Teruya, 69, from the Social-Democratic Party, won the seat in the 2nd district. Former House of Representatives member Denny Tamaki, 55, Seikatsu no To (People’s Life Party) was elected in the 3rd district. He was elected in the proportional representation system in the previous election. The 2nd district includes the area where the Futenma base is located, and the 3rd district includes the relocation site in Henoko, Nago.
All four candidates of the ruling LDP Kosaburo Nishime, 60, Konosuke Kokuba, 41, Masahisa Miyazaki, 49, and Natsumi Higa, 56, lost to their rivals. But all of them succeeded in winning parliamentary seats under the proportional representation system. Former State Minister in Charge of Postal Services Privatization Mikio Shimoji, 53, Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party) who lost in the 1st district and former House of Representatives member Kiyohiko Toyama, 45, Komeito Party, won seats under the proportional representation system.
(English translation by T&CT)
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