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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Shiga gubernatorial election & nukes

June 26, 2014

Campaigning begins for Shiga gubernatorial race



OTSU, Japan (Kyodo) -- Official campaigning started Thursday for the July 13 gubernatorial election in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan, with the race among three newcomers expected to focus on the economy and nuclear power.

The three who filed candidacy to succeed Gov. Yukiko Kada were Takashi Koyari, 47, a former Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry official, Taizo Mikazuki, 43, a former Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker, and Ikuo Tsubota, 55, a junior high school teacher, all of them running as independents.

Koyari is backed by local chapters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, the New Komeito party, while Mikazuki is supported by the main opposition DPJ and Kada, who is known for her antinuclear stance. Tsubota is backed by the Japanese Communist Party.

Kada, 64, who is now in her second term, said earlier that she will not seek a third term and instead back Mikazuki as her successor. They have agreed to call for a greater say for Shiga in whether to allow nuclear reactors in neighboring Fukui Prefecture to be reactivated, with plans to form a political group together.

If Mikazuki loses, it would likely deal a blow to DPJ leader Banri Kaieda, with some members within the party speaking of a change in party leadership as the DPJ continues to face difficulties regaining momentum to mount a challenge to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's LDP.

The main focuses of the election are Kada's record in office over the past eight years, economic revitalization measures as well as the restart of nuclear power generation in Fukui.

June 26, 2014(Mainichi Japan)

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