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Tax-cutting Mayor Kawamura re-elected in Nagoya

Kyodo

Incumbent Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura was re-elected Sunday to his third four-year term, beating two other challengers by large margins.

Kawamura, 64, who heads a local political party called Tax Cut Japan, won voters’ endorsements as he pushed through a 5 percent municipal income tax cut and pledged during campaigning to increase this to 10 percent.

He ran against Japanese Communist Party-backed Tamio Shibata, a 48-year-old former part-time lecturer at Aichi University of Education, and Tadamasa Fujisawa, a 43-year-old former city assembly member who was supported by the Aichi prefectural chapters of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan. The two main parties had argued that the tax cut should be annulled.

Kawamura garnered 427,542 votes, Fujisawa 192,472 and Shibata 67,353, according to the final tally released by the city election board.

Voter turnout was 39.35 percent, far below the 54.14 percent recorded in 2011 and 50.54 percent in 2009.

Kawamura, a former Lower House member, became Nagoya’s mayor in 2009 but resigned in January 2011 in the midst of a stormy confrontation with the municipal assembly over his tax-cut plan. He ran again and was re-elected mayor the following month.

“(The election result) shows citizens’ clear support for the tax-cut policy,” Kawamura told reporters late Sunday.

He also indicated a willingness to field candidates from his party in this summer’s Upper House election.