Politics

Okinawa voters go to polls to decide the island prefecture’s next governor


Voting in Okinawa’s gubernatorial election began Sunday with much of the electorate focused on the controversial plan to relocate a U.S. Marine Corps base within the prefecture and the local economy, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pre-election polls showed incumbent Denny Tamaki, 62, supported by opposition parties, leading the race, trailed by former Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima, 58, who has the backing of the ruling coalition led by the Liberal Democratic Party. Former Lower House lawmaker Mikio Shimoji, 61, was a distant third.

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