Shimizu cruises to third term in Saitama mayoral race

Kyodo

Saitama Mayor Hayato Shimizu was re-elected to a third term over the weekend, decisively defeating his two rivals.

Shimizu, 55, ran on his accomplishments in administrative and fiscal reform in Sunday’s election.

Running as an independent, he was backed by Democratic Party members of the Diet and the local assembly. He was also supported by some assembly members from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which opted not to field its own candidate.

Running against him were former House of Representatives member Fukuyo Nakamori, 67, and former elementary school teacher Hideo Maejima, 64, who was backed by the Japanese Communist Party. Both ran as independents.

Shimizu won 203,953 votes, while Nakamori gathered 63,200 votes and Maejima 53,971 votes, according to the final tallies.

Voter turnout, however, sank to a record low of 31.44 percent, 4.07 points below the previous low set in 2005.