Local Election Battles Start with Governors Races in Japan
Tokyo, March 21 (Jiji Press)--Gubernatorial election campaigns kicked off in 11 of Japan's 47 prefectures on Thursday, marking the start of unified local election battles the country, which come ahead of the House of Councillors election this summer.
A total of 30 people, including five women, filed for their candidacies in the governors races in Hokkaido, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kanagawa, Fukui, Mie, Nara, Tottori, Shimane, Tokushima and Oita.
In Hokkaido, the former Yubari mayor backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, locks horns with a candidate supported by major opposition parties including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People.
Meanwhile, the conservative bloc is divided in Fukuoka, Fukui, Shimane and Tokushima, where the LDP's official candidates confront with those pushed by rebel lawmakers in the party and their supporters. In the opposition camp, the CDPJ and the DPFP throw their support behind the incumbent governor in Fukui but have failed to field their own candidates in the other three prefectures.
The Osaka gubernatorial election will be held simultaneously with a mayoral election in the city of Osaka. The incumbent mayor runs in the governor race while the current governor bids to become mayor, aiming to push forward the "Osaka metropolis" initiative of their party, Osaka Ishin no Kai, to make the western Japan city as powerful as Tokyo.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]