Ichimi Wins 1st Term as Governor of Japan's Mie Pref.

Politics

Tsu, Mie Pref., Sept. 12 (Jiji Press)--Katsuyuki Ichimi, a former senior official at the Japanese transport ministry, was elected governor of Mie Prefecture, central Japan, for the first time on Sunday, easily defeating his two rivals.

Ichimi, 58, ran in the Mie gubernatorial election as an independent candidate while receiving support from the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito, the coalition partner of the LDP, the biggest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the major opposition Democratic Party for the People.

He beat independent Emi Okano, a 69-year-old former Mie prefectural assembly member, who was backed by the Japanese Communist Party, and Tsuyoshi Ishikawa, 47, also an independent and president of a construction company. Ichimi garnered 391,767 votes, far more than 96,317 votes for Okano and 59,571 votes for Ishikawa.

The election was held to choose the successor to Eikei Suzuki, who announced his resignation from the post of Mie governor as he will run in the next election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament. Voter turnout came to 37.93 pct, down from 46.68 pct in the previous Mie gubernatorial election in April 2019.

In his election campaigning, Ichimi vowed to speed up vaccinations against the novel coronavirus and promote antibody cocktail treatment, which is believed to help prevent COVID-19 patients from developing serious symptoms. He also said he will beef up the prefecture's risk management system against natural disasters and accelerate the development of local industries.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press