Anti-Base Candidates Win Nago City Assembly

Monday, September 13, 2010


Tokyo -- Allies of anti-base Mayor Susumu Inamine have won a convincing victory in the Nago City Assembly elections held on Sunday, dealing a fresh blow to efforts to construct a new US Marine airbase along the pristine coastline of Henoko beach.

According to local reports, allies of Mayor Inamine secured 16 of the 27 seats in the assembly. Moreover, two other candidates, not allied with Mr. Inamine, have staked out anti-base positions. As a result, those opposing the construction of the base will outnumber those in favor by a 2-to-1 margin.

Prior to Sunday's election, the Assembly was evenly divided 12-to-12 between opponents and supporters of the base plan (three members had been noncommittal).

As recently reported by analyst Peter Ennis in his blog "Dispatch Japan," Transport Minister Seiji Maehara and the Ministry of Defense had been lobbying strongly for the pro-base candidates, and will lose face as a consequence of these results.

The people of Nago have now - for a second time this year - decisively repudiated Tokyo's plans to build a new US base in their city.

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