Japan

Campaign begins for Fukushima governor race with reconstruction in focus

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Official campaigning started Thursday for the gubernatorial election in Fukushima Prefecture, with the incumbent governor's policies on reconstruction work following the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster seen as a main issue.

In the governor election which will be held on Oct 28, incumbent Masao Uchibori, 54, is challenged by three candidates — Jun Kanayama, a 78-year-old self-employed worker, Sho Takahashi, a 30-year-old IT company owner, and Kazushi Machida, a 42-year-old prefectural chairman of the Japanese Communist Party.

Although all of the four candidates are running as independents, Uchibori, currently in his first term, gets support from the ruling and opposition parties except for the communist party.

The eastern Japan prefecture is still on the road to recovery from the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which was crippled by the earthquake-tsunami on March 11, 2011.

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

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

© KYODO

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