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Okinawa’s governor’s camp fails to win a majority in parliamentary elections

The Okinawa prefectural camp, led by Governor Denny Tamaki, failed to secure a majority of seats in the prefecture assembly elections on Sunday.

The harsh election result forces Okinawa’s governor, who opposes the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma air base within the prefecture, to face challenges in managing the prefecture’s governance.

In the elections, 75 candidates stood for 48 seats.

The ruling camp, including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Social Democratic Party, which support Tamaki, won only twenty seats in the Okinawa Prefecture Assembly.

In contrast, the opposition party in the prefecture, including the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Komeito and Nippon Ishin no Kai, took 28 seats.

The opposition now wants to use the election results to regain control of the Okinawa Prefecture government from Tamaki by winning the 2026 Okinawa gubernatorial election.

Tamaki told reporters in Naha early Monday that his opposition to the relocation of the Futenma base to the coastal Henoko area of ​​Nago city from its current location in Ginowan city “remains unwavering.”

“I will continue to do what I can,” he added.

Voter turnout reached a record low of 45.26%, down 1.7 percentage points from the previous prefectural assembly elections in 2020.

Before Sunday’s elections, the government and opposition camps each had 24 seats.

With a member of the opposition party as head of the assembly, who does not participate in the vote, Tamaki is tightly in charge of the assembly’s governance.

The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly election was also crucial for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government after it suffered recent defeats in a series of national and local elections in the wake of a high-profile slush fund scandal involving LDP factions.

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