FOCUS: Upper House Election Seen as Precursor to Okinawa Race


Naha, Okinawa Pref., July 4 (Jiji Press)--With Okinawa Prefecture in the middle of a year full of key elections, local politicians consider Sunday's House of Councillors poll a precursor to this year's final election event, the gubernatorial race in autumn.

Incumbent Yoichi Iha, an independent candidate backed by the All Okinawa group including Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki, and Genta Koja of the Liberal Democratic Party will go head-to-head in the battle for the single available seat in the Okinawa prefectural constituency in the election for the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

The focus will be whether the LDP can secure its first victory in 12 years in an election that involves voters across the southernmost prefecture.

Underscoring the importance of revitalizing Okinawa's economy, battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Iha told a rally in Naha, the prefecture's capital, on June 26, "We will receive tourists while implementing novel coronavirus infection control measures."

The core policy binding the All Okinawa group is opposition to the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in Ginowan, Okinawa, to the Henoko district in another Okinawa city of Nago.

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Jiji Press