MORIOKA, IWATE PREF. – Takuya Tasso, an independent candidate supported by four opposition parties, won a fourth term Sunday in the Iwate gubernatorial election, defeating a challenger who was backed by the major ruling party led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The focus of the first gubernatorial race in the prefecture in eight years was reconstruction, following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Tasso, 55, was challenged by Atsushi Oikawa, 52, a former local assemblyman, who ran as an independent with the support of the Liberal Democratic Party and the local chapter of the LDP’s coalition partner, Komeito.
During campaigning Oikawa criticized Tasso for having a bad relationship with the central government, and pledged to call for fresh funding from Tokyo to cover the entire reconstruction process until its completion.
All of the leaders of the opposition parties traveled to the prefecture to join Tasso as he campaigned, with Yukio Edano of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan criticizing Abe’s government.
Tasso was re-elected unopposed in 2015.