SAKAI, OSAKA PREF. – A candidate from regional party Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka) won Sunday’s mayoral election in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, likely giving a boost to the party’s push for local administrative reorganization.
Hideki Nagafuji, a 42-year-old former Osaka Prefectural Assembly member, defeated two other contenders. Voter turnout stood at 40.83 percent.
The regional party’s so-called Osaka metropolis plan calls for reorganizing the prefectural capital of Osaka into special wards. In April, the party won the Osaka prefectural and mayoral elections.
Nagafuji collected 137,862 votes, against 123,771 votes garnered by Tomoaki Nomura, 45, a former Sakai Municipal Assembly member, and 14,110 votes by Takashi Tachibana, 51, a former assembly member for Katsushika Ward, Tokyo.
Sunday’s election came after former Mayor Osami Takeyama stepped down in April to take responsibility for a political funding scandal.
During his campaign, Nagafuji harshly criticized Takeyama’s funding scandal and pledged to pursue strong growth in Osaka Prefecture through closer collaboration with the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments. On the metropolis plan, he said he would closely observe developments from the Osaka Municipal Government.
Nomura’s campaign focused on opposition to the metropolis plan, while Tachibana proposed measures such as enacting an ordinance that would curb viewer fee collection by NHK.