Results of this week's Lower House election suggest there's less than unanimous support for a key element of the transfer of 5,000 U.S. Marines to Guam.
According to a report in Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper, three candidates opposed to the relocation of a key U.S. military base within Okinawa Prefecture were re-elected in the Lower House election on Oct. 22, but the remaining seat went to a proponent of the project.
The outcome suggested that islanders still overwhelmingly back candidates rallying behind Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, a vocal opponent of the construction of a new base in Nago to take over the functions of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, but that it can be seen as a setback for his supporters.
In the previous Lower House vote in 2014, candidates against the Futenma relocation captured all of the prefecture's four single-seat districts.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party set out to recapture at least two
of the four seats, with LDP candidates pitching programs to bolster the local economy.
In the No. 4 electoral district, LDP lawmaker Kosaburo Nishime regained his seat, defeating an anti-base candidate.
Those who retained their seats as supporters of the governor were Seiken Akamine, an incumbent of the Japanese Communist Party; Kantoku Teruya, an incumbent of the Social Democratic Party; and Denny Tamaki, an independent.