Reform candidates sweep double elections in Osaka

November 27, 2011

Major changes will likely come to the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments as candidates backed by the reform-minded Osaka Ishin no Kai (Osaka restoration group) secured victories on Nov. 27 in the gubernatorial and mayoral elections.

Toru Hashimoto, the founder of Osaka Ishin no Kai, resigned as Osaka governor to run in the mayoral election. One of his major planks was to create an Osaka metropolitan government by combining the finances of the Osaka prefectural government and municipal government.

Exit polls indicated that Hashimoto was headed for victory over the incumbent Osaka mayor, Kunio Hiramatsu.

In the Osaka gubernatorial election, Ichiro Matsui, the former Osaka prefectural assembly member backed by the Osaka Ishin no Kai, also secured a win over six other candidates, including Kaoru Kurata, the former mayor of Ikeda in Osaka Prefecture.

Both Hiramatsu and Kurata received support from the local chapters of the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party. The results on Nov. 27 show that voters have become disgusted with established political parties and were looking for change that new political movements may be able to provide.

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Former Osaka prefectural governor Toru Hashimoto, right, and former prefectural assembly member Ichiro Matsui campaigning together in Osaka on Nov. 10. (Shinichi Iizuka)

Former Osaka prefectural governor Toru Hashimoto, right, and former prefectural assembly member Ichiro Matsui campaigning together in Osaka on Nov. 10. (Shinichi Iizuka)

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  • Former Osaka prefectural governor Toru Hashimoto, right, and former prefectural assembly member Ichiro Matsui campaigning together in Osaka on Nov. 10. (Shinichi Iizuka)

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