Defeat in Okinawa Deals Blow to LDP Ahead of Governor Race

Politics

Naha, Okinawa Pref., July 20 (Jiji Press)--The ruling Liberal Democratic Party's defeat in the Okinawa prefectural constituency in the recent House of Councillors election has dealt a blow to the LDP ahead of the prefecture's gubernatorial race in September.

This year, the LDP won four consecutive mayoral elections in the southernmost Japan prefecture, including one in Nago and another in Nanjo, both in January.

But the winning streak has been snapped by the defeat in the Okinawa constituency, bringing the mood down ahead of the Sept. 11 election in which the LDP will challenge Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki, who strongly opposes the government's project to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in Ginowan, Okinawa, to the Henoko district in Nago.

In the July 10 poll for the Upper House of the Diet, Japan's parliament, a former internal affairs ministry official fielded by the LDP lost to the incumbent, an independent backed by the All Okinawa group including Tamaki, coming just 2,888 votes shy.

"We couldn't secure votes in areas with many conservatives," a source at the LDP's Okinawa prefectural chapter said while adding that the good point was that it was a close race.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press