Uchibori wins 3rd term as Fukushima governor, turnout at 42.58%

Photo: Masao Uchibori (center, front row) and his supporters are jubilant after he secured a third term as Fukushima governor.

Incumbent Masao Uchibori garnered an overwhelming majority, or 576,221 ballots, in the 22nd Fukushima gubernatorial election held on Oct. 30 ahead of the completion of his tenure in office, winning a third term as governor of the prefecture. Uchibori, 58, an independent supported by the prefectural organizations of four political parties -- the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito, and the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People -- beat his sole opponent Yoshiaki Kusano, 66, a senior official of local labor and civic groups who was backed by the Japanese Communist Party, by a large margin. The first one-on-one battle in 12 years generated limited enthusiasm, with the second lowest turnout of 42.58%. Uchibori will serve a new four-year term beginning on Nov. 12. (Translated by Kyodo News)