National / Politics

Ex-bureaucrat wins Yamaguchi race

Kyodo

Former bureaucrat Tsugumasa Muraoka on Sunday won the Yamaguchi gubernatorial election by defeating two candidates to succeed Gov. Shigetaro Yamamoto, who resigned due to illness.

According to the election board’s final tally, Muraoka, 41, a former official of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, drew 286,996 votes.

In second place was Tsutomu Takamura, 39, a former member of the House of Representatives, who collected 115,763 votes, followed by Naoko Fujii, 61, a former member of the Shunan Municipal Assembly, who picked up 46,402 votes.

Muraoka was supported by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, while Fujii was fielded by the Japanese Communist Party and Takamura was backed by the People’s Life Party. Muraoka and Takamura ran as independents.

The focus of the election was on Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s controversial plan to build a nuclear plant in the town of Kaminoseki, and on the plan to transfer Okinawa-based KC-130 refueling tankers to a U.S. Marine base in Iwakuni sometime later this summer.