Yokokura elected new JMA chief

Kyodo

The chief of the politically influential Japan Medical Association, known for his close ties to the ruling party, lost his re-election bid Sunday to a candidate favoring alliances with more parties.

Katsuyuki Haranaka, 71, was beaten by JMA Vice President Yoshitake Yokokura, 67, who wants to forge alliances with the opposition parties, including the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, rather than just the ruling Democratic Party of Japan.

Yokokura defeated Haranaka 192 to 64 in a runoff after the first round of voting in the three-man race ended with none of them securing a majority.

Yokokura’s victory is expected to impact political circles, where expectations for a snap election this year are growing. The JMA has around 165,000 members.