Yokohama opposition may have found its anti-IR mayoral candidate

The CDPJ appears to have found its mayoral candidate for Yokohama.
The CDPJ appears to have found its mayoral candidate for Yokohama.

The opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan is expected to announce that Takeharu Yamanaka will be its candidate for the mayoral elections in August.

Japan.- After a long search, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) may have finally found its anti-IR candidate for the mayoral elections to be held in Yokohama on August 22.

Although there’s been no official announcement, Asian Gaming Brief reports that Takeharu Yamanaka has been chosen as the candidate to represent the CDPJ.

Yamanaka is 48 years old and works as a professor at Yokohama City University. He is specialized in public health and medical statistics and has recently been working on anti-Covid-19 countermeasures.

He’s known to disagree with the development of an integrated resort, arguing that it could cause issues with gambling addiction.

The CDPJ had hoped to select a unified opposition candidate by April to stand on an anti-IR ticket. The second-largest opposition party in the country, the Japan Communist Party, offered to withdraw its own candidate to give more chances to a single anti-IR candidate.

Although the Japan Communist Party has not made any comments regarding Yamanaka yet, it is expected the party will support him as a unique candidate.

It’s also expected that Yukio Fujiki, chairman of the Yokohama Port Harbor Resort Association and a strong opponent against the development of an IR, may also give his approval to the selection of Yamanaka as the main opposition candidate.

Pro-IR Yokohama candidate to be defined

Yokohama’s current pro-IR mayor Fumiko Hayashi has expressed her decision to run for a fourth term. However, the Liberal Democratic Party believes she is unlikely to win the elections and is seeking another candidate.

Apart from Hayashi and Yamanaka, there are three other candidates in the running, and two of them are opposed to plans for an IR. The other says he is neutral and would define his opinion if he wins.

The other two independent anti-IR candidates who have launched their respective campaigns are Masataka Ota, a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party, and Akiko Fujimura, the representative director of an animal welfare group, who has said she will order the immediate cancellation of the city’s IR project if she wins the election.

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