Kumagai Wins 1st Term as Chiba Governor


Chiba, March 21 (Jiji Press)--Former Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai won his first term as governor of Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, in Sunday's election, defeating seven other candidates.

This was the first Chiba gubernatorial election in 12 years that was not joined by an incumbent. Current Chiba Governor Kensaku Morita, who is in his third four-year term, has announced a decision to retire. His current term is set to end in early April.

During his campaign, Kumagai, 43, pledged to enhance measures in response to the novel coronavirus crisis, such as increasing hospital beds and thoroughly conducting polymerase chain reaction tests, and to beef up disaster management steps.

He obtained broad-based support, including from the Chiba prefectural chapters of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), the Democratic Party for the People and the Social Democratic Party, all opposition parties in national politics, and some lawmakers of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito.

Kumagai quit as mayor of the city of Chiba, the capital of the prefecture, earlier this month, during his third term as head of the city, in order to run in the gubernatorial election. He was elected Chiba mayor for the first time in June 2009, after working as a corporate employee and a member of the Chiba city assembly.

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