YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Hiroshi Nakada, incumbent mayor of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, is set to win re-election to his second four-year term, according to a Kyodo News exit poll that showed him well ahead of his challengers in Sunday’s election.
Balloting for the new mayor was held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Reform-minded Nakada faced oceanographer Yasuo Matsukawa and former company employee Kenjiro Endo.
Former House of Representatives member Nakada, 41, is supported by the Yokohama chapter of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Kanagawa chapter of the Democratic Party of Japan, as well as New Komeito.
Matsukawa, 64, is backed by the Japanese Communist Party while Endo, 63, is an independent.
Voter turnout was 35.30 percent, down 4.05 points from the previous election.
During his re-election campaign, Nakada stressed his achievements and pledged to work on reforming Japanese society from Yokohama.
For the first time in 16 years, the ballots will be counted on the day after the election as a cost-cutting measure.