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Mayoral race starts in Nagoya

Kyodo

Official campaigning for the Nagoya mayoral election kicked off Sunday with three candidates, including incumbent Takashi Kawamura.

Kawamura is up against Tamio Shibata, 48, a former part-time lecturer at Aichi University of Education who is backed by the Japanese Communist Party, and Tadamasa Fujisawa, 43, a former city assembly member supported by the Aichi prefectural chapters of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan.

Kawamura, 64, got a 5 percent cut in the municipal income tax passed and plans to increase it to 10 percent if elected.

His rivals are arguing that the tax cut should be annulled.

“I will fight with vested interests and accomplish the people’s revolution,” Kawamura said Sunday.

Voters will go to the polls on April 21.

Kawamura, a former member of the House of Representatives, became mayor in 2009. He heads a local political party called Genzei Nippon (Tax Reduction Japan).

Kawamura resigned in January 2011 during a stormy confrontation about the tax cut with the Nagoya Municipal Assembly.

He ran for office again and won the mayorship back the following month.