he first will be the mayoral election for Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, where ballots will be cast and counted on Jan. 24.

The city hosts the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station, and the city’s mayoral election will be a “proxy war.” That is because the government and the ruling parties, working to relocate the air base to the Henoko district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, are supporting the incumbent, while Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga and others opposed to the relocation are backing the challenger who is a newcomer.

Meanwhile, incumbent Mayor Atsushi Sakima, who is in favor of relocating the air base as soon as possible, has refrained from mentioning any particular relocation site for the base. Former prefectural government official Keiichiro Shimura, who receives the full backing of Onaga and his allies, is thinking of campaigning against relocation to Henoko. The outcome of the Ginowan mayoral race, along with that of the election for the prefectural assembly members expected to be held in June, could end up having an impact on the relocation of the base.
                                            source:Japan News january 18,2016




Eyes are also on the by-election for Hokkaido Constituency No. 5 in the lower house, which will be held in April. The by-election is being held due to the death of Nobutaka Machimura, former speaker of the lower house. The largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan is looking to obtain the support of the Japanese Communist Party and other opposition parties to back Maki Ikeda, executive secretary of the DPJ’s Hokkaido chapter, as an independent candidate.

The intention is to use this as a test run for the possible fielding of united-opposition candidates in the upper house election.

The LDP has named as its official candidate Yoshiaki Wada, husband of Machimura’s second daughter, and the LDP’s coalition partner Komeito has decided to give him its endorsement as well.

It is highly likely that the by-election will turn into a contest between the ruling bloc and the unified opposition parties, and both sides, viewing it as a preliminary contest that will provide an indication of the outcome of the upper house election, seem poised to turn it into an all-out battle.
                                            source:Japan News january 18,2016