National / Politics

Chiba Gov. Morita returned for third four-year term

Kyodo

Chiba Gov. Kensaku Morita won a third four-year term in Sunday’s gubernatorial election, beating three independent newcomers.

The 67-year-old actor-turned-governor and former House of Representatives member highlighted his success in promoting two locations in the prefecture as sports venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. He also vowed during the campaign to maintain low tolls on an expressway across Tokyo Bay.

“For the next four years, I’ll do my best with the experience and political expertise I have gained so far,” Morita said after learning the election results.

Morita ran as an independent but was supported by the local chapters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito.

Of the challengers, former Urayasu Mayor Hideki Matsuzaki, 67, had criticized Morita for making slow progress in improving medical and welfare services. The other two were Shinichi Sumiya, 62, a former high school teacher, and Hisakazu Takenami, a 42-year-old former construction company employee.