National / Politics

Saga governor backed by Japan's ruling coalition handily beats JCP-backed challenger

JIJI

Saga Gov. Yoshinori Yamaguchi was elected to a second four-year term Sunday, defeating his sole contender.

Yamaguchi, a 53-year-old independent supported by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito coalition, beat Masato Imada, a 72-year-old independent backed by the Japanese Communist Party.

Yamaguchi collected 199,670 votes, against 36,174 votes for Imada.

In the election, Yamaguchi was supported by more than 260 organizations including those in the agricultural, economic and construction sectors.

He received support from a broad spectrum of voters by highlighting achievements in his first term, including stepped-up aid for child care and pledges to strengthen welfare policy measures and revitalize agriculture.

Imada opposed the Ground Self-Defense Force’s deployment of Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft at Saga Airport and called for decommissioning the reactors of Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai nuclear power plant.

However, he failed to garner wide voter support.