Okinawan business community supporting Naha Mayor Onaga’s bid for governor

June 13, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

In the run-up to the prefectural gubernatorial election this fall, members of the Okinawan business community, including chairman of Kanehide Holdings Co., Ltd Morimasa Goya and CEO of Kariyushi Co., Ltd Chokei Taira held a press conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government Office in the morning on June 12. They announced that they had set up a new organization, the “Association for the Governorship of Takeshi Onaga.” They aim to attract widespread support from the Okinawan business community in favor of Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga’s bid to become the new governor of Okinawa Prefecture. Goya and Taira will be joint representatives of the organization and Kanehide Holdings founder Hidenobu Goya and Okinawa Ham Co., Ltd Chairman Tokumatsu Nagahama will be advisers. Other companies joining the association will support the founders’ aims.

Within the next two months, the organization will hold a larger meeting with other supporters. The advisory committee will also be looking for representatives from companies that run tourist facilities.

Goya stated, “I would like to back Onaga for governor, and achieve our goal.” He expects to garner the support of over 100 companies.

Taira views Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima’s decision to approve the reclamation of the Henoko district in Nago as “A total act of betrayal.” He claimed, “We must elect a new leader.” He cites this as the reason for supporting Onaga.

Goya said, “Onaga was a campaign manager for Nakaima in the previous gubernatorial election, and opposed building of a military base in Henoko. Now the situation has come to this, I hope for a new governor. Creating new industries and building new commercial districts such as the Shintoshin area of Naha is desirable.”

Okiham’s chairman Nagahama was present at the press conference and said, “Okinawa is now reaching a major turning point. Without Onaga, we cannot move ahead.”

(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)

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