FUKUSHIMA – A Bank of Japan official has announced he will run in October’s Fukushima gubernatorial election, at the request of the Liberal Democratic Party, in the first contest to pick the prefecture’s governor since the 2011 nuclear disaster.
Takeshi Hachimura, 55, who works in the central bank’s personnel and corporate affairs department, previously served as the manager of its Fukushima branch between 2005 and 2008, and as the Reconstruction Agency’s policy adviser after the disaster.
“I made up my mind after hearing requests to accelerate recovery efforts,” Hachimura told reporters on Sunday, after being asked by the local chapter of the ruling LDP to run in the race.
“As I was raised by Fukushima as a professional, I’d like to return the favor,” said Hachimura, who will run as an independent.
Incumbent Gov. Yuhei Sato, 66, has yet to clarify whether he will run for a third four-year term in the election slated for Oct. 26.
The LDP’s Fukushima chapter is expected to reach a formal decision next Thursday to support Hachimura and seek the party headquarters’ backing for him by Aug. 25.
Yoshihiro Kumasaka, 62, a Fukushima native who formerly served as mayor of Miyako city in Iwate Prefecture, and Yoshitaka Ikarashi, a 36-year-old pastor in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, have said they intend to run in the gubernatorial race as independent candidates.