Mimura poised to win Aomori re-election bid

Kyodo

Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura was set to be re-elected to his third four-year term in Sunday’s gubernatorial election by defeating two challengers, according to Kyodo News projections.

Mimura, 55, an independent backed by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, vowed in his campaign to set up a panel to review power plant safety in Aomori Prefecture in light of the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture.

He ran against newcomers Takashi Yamauchi, 56, a former prefectural assembly member and an independent supported by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, and the Japanese Communist Party’s prefectural chief Yo Yoshimata, 37.

Yamauchi told voters he would freeze existing plans to build more nuclear reactors in Aomori Prefecture, which also suffered from the March 11 disasters, while Yoshimata called for a departure from nuclear power generation.

Including the nationwide local polls in April, the loss will be the fourth straight for the DPJ in a gubernatorial election where DPJ and LDP candidates faced off.