Incumbent Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori is set to secure another four-year term Sunday, beating three challengers, a Kyodo News projection showed.
Throughout the election campaign, the 54-year-old governor, who is in his first term, enjoyed a comfortable lead over the other candidates — Jun Kanayama, 78, a self-employed worker, Sho Takahashi, 30, an IT company owner, and Kazushi Machida, 42, prefectural chairman of the Japanese Communist Party.
While all four candidates ran as independents, Uchibori received support from the ruling and opposition parties, except for the communist party.
The northeastern prefecture, where there are about 1.6 million eligible voters, is still on the road to recovery from the nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which were triggered by the devastating earthquake-tsunami on March 11, 2011.
During the campaign, Uchibori pledged further efforts to rebuild local communities and promote the return of residents who have moved out of the prefecture due to the disaster, but many voters voiced concerns about the candidates proposing few specific measures to help residents recover from the devastation.
All — Kyodo News+