TAKAMATSU, KAGAWA PREF. – Incumbent Gov. Keizo Hamada of Kagawa looked set to win re-election in a gubernatorial race on Sunday, handily beating a challenger backed by the Japanese Communist Party, according to Kyodo News projections.
Hamada, 62, ran as an independent with backing from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its junior coalition partner New Komeito and the opposition Social Democratic Party. He also secured backing from the prefectural chapter of the Democratic Party of Japan, the main opposition force.
The sole challenger, Tadashi Kawamura, 55, also ran as an independent, with backing from the JCP. Kawamura is the secretary general of that party’s prefectural committee.
During the campaign, Hamada, a former Finance Ministry bureaucrat, drew attention to his achievements during his first four-year term as governor, while pledging to keep jobs in the prefecture and help develop new industry.
In his campaign, Kawamura criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government for deciding to reinterpret the Constitution to allow the country to exercise the right to collective self-defense, and for pushing for the restart of nuclear reactors in the country.