Foreigners can vote on town merger

Kyodo

The town assembly of Matsuoka, Fukui Prefecture, on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance for a merger plebiscite in which foreigners with permanent resident status will be allowed to vote.

The plebiscite, approved during an extraordinary session of the assembly, is expected to be held Nov. 10, when two merger proposals will be put to the vote.

The first proposal is that Matsuoka merge with the town of Eiheiji and the village of Kamishihi, while the second calls for a merger with the neighboring city of Fukui.

According to the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry, plebiscites on mergers have been conducted in five municipalities nationwide.

Matsuoka has about 11,000 residents. As of Sept. 2, there were 8,246 local residents and 96 foreign residents eligible to vote in the plebiscite. Eligible voters are aged 20 and over.