National / Politics

Abe ally elected mayor in Yamaguchi, beating incumbent

Kyodo

A former secretary of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was elected mayor of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on Sunday, beating the incumbent and another contender.

Shintaro Maeda, 40, backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and running for the first time, prevailed over Mayor Tomoaki Nakao, 67, and fellow newcomer Seigo Matsumura, 63.

Voter turnout was 47.09 percent.

The election was seen as a proxy fight between Abe and former farm minister Yoshimasa Hayashi of the LDP, both elected from Yamaguchi Prefecture. Their fathers had also fought each other in past elections.

During the campaign, Maeda emphasized the need to establish “strong connections” with the central government and the Yamaguchi Prefectural Government by taking advantage of his ties with Abe. Nakao meanwhile ran on his record as mayor.