Anti-U.S. Base Candidate Certain to Win in Okinawa Election


Naha, Okinawa Pref., Sept. 30 (Jiji Press)--Denny Tamaki, a former Japanese lawmaker opposing building a new U.S. military base in Okinawa Prefecture, is certain to win in Sunday's gubernatorial election in the southern Japan prefecture.

In his campaign, Tamaki, 58, a former member of the House of Representatives, vowed to block the Japanese government's plan to build a new military base in the Henoko coastal area in the Okinawa city of Nago to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station, located in Ginowan, also in Okinawa.

The election was held to choose the successor to the late Governor Takeshi Onaga, who staunchly opposed building any new military base in Okinawa. He died of cancer in August.

Voting closed at 8 p.m. (11 a.m. GMT). The gubernatorial election was viewed as a de facto one-on-one race between Tamaki and Atsushi Sakima, 54, former Ginowan mayor supported by the ruling coalition.

Tamaki touted himself as Onaga's successor, while Sakima vowed to promote economic development in Okinawa through close cooperation with the central government.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press