Opposition-Backed Yamanaka Elected Yokohama Mayor in Blow to Suga

Politics

Yokohama, Aug. 22 (Jiji Press)--A candidate supported by opposition parties was elected mayor of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on Sunday, beating seven contenders, including the incumbent mayor and a candidate backed by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

The defeat of an ally in the closely watched election on his home turf dealt a heavy blow to Suga, who faces a general election later this year. Suga's constituency in parliament is located in the port city, capital of Kanagawa Prefecture.

The election setback is likely to fuel concerns within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party about Suga's ability to lead the party into the election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament, which needs to be held by autumn. Suga's term as LDP president expires at the end of September.

Voter turnout in the mayoral election came to 49.05 pct, up 11.84 percentage points from the previous election in 2017.

Takeharu Yamanaka, former professor of Yokohama City University, won the latest election, which involved a record eight candidates. Yamanaka, 48, is an independent supported by the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press