Tamaki, Sakima in Close Race for Okinawa Governor: Jiji Survey

Politics

Naha, Okinawa Pref., Sept. 25 (Jiji Press)--Two major candidates Denny Tamaki and Atsushi Sakima are in a close contest for the governorship of Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, a Jiji Press survey found Tuesday.

The gubernatorial election, slated for Sunday, is a de facto duel between Tamaki, a former House of Representatives member, and Sakima, former mayor of Ginowan, an Okinawa city. The survey was conducted chiefly with campaign officials and political parties.

Tamaki, 58, backed by the so-called All Okinawa camp, including the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, promotes himself as the successor to the late Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga.

Onaga, who died of disease in August, rejected a central government plan to build a new U.S. military base in the Henoko coastal area in Nago, also Okinawa, to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base in Ginowan.

In addition to supporters of the JCP and SDP, Tamaki is drumming up support in Naha, Okinawa's capital, the electoral power base of Onaga.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press