Japan

Incumbents win in Nagasaki, Yamaguchi gubernatorial elections

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Incumbents pledging economic promotion are set to win in the gubernatorial elections in Nagasaki and Yamaguchi prefectures Sunday, beating newcomers who focused more on welfare improvement.

In Nagasaki, Hodo Nakamura, 67, beat the 56-year-old rival Toshihiko Haraguchi who belongs to the local chapter of the Japanese Communist Party in a two-man race, clinching his third term.

During campaigning, Nakamura, an independent recommended by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito party, focused on increasing jobs and helping new residents moving in from other prefectures.

He pledged to attract investment for tourism promotion including construction of a casino resort, while Haraguchi sought support for his plan to enhance welfare programs.

In Yamaguchi, Tsugumasa Muraoka, 45, was elected to his second term in a two-man race against Yuzuru Kumano, 64, a former head of the local teachers' union.

Muraoka, recommended by the ruling coalition, vowed to boost the local economy through industrial promotion.

Kumano expressed opposition to expansion of U.S. military operations at the Iwakuni base in the prefecture and to a plan to build a nuclear power plant in a coastal area. The plant construction has been suspended since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan trigged a nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

© KYODO

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