Official campaigning started Thursday for the gubernatorial election in Fukushima Prefecture with a focus on the prefecture's ongoing recovery from the 2011 earthquake and nuclear crisis.

In the election slated for Oct. 28, incumbent Masao Uchibori, 54, will be running against three candidates — Jun Kanayama, a 78-year-old self-employed worker, Sho Takahashi, a 30-year-old owner of an IT company, and Kazushi Machida, the 42-year-old prefectural chairman of the Japanese Communist Party.

Although all four candidates are running as independents, Uchibori, currently in his first term, is being supported by all parties other than the Japanese Communist Party.

The prefecture is still on the road to recovery from the triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant after the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.

"Taking the important missions of the prefecture's reconstruction and revitalization into consideration, I'll take on this challenge," Uchibori said after filing his candidacy in the city of Fukushima.

Kanayama said he seeks a prefectural administration that "children can be proud of," while Takahashi appealed for assistance for startups. Machida called for the complete abolition of all nuclear power plants in Japan.