In Osaka, a minor party candidate defeated one that was supported by both the major parties in a mayoral election. Can you imagine that? Talk about David versus Goliath! Read that again: A minor candidate defeated one that was supported by both major parties!
The smell of revival and revolution is in the air! The updated election results are in and the winner received over 60% of the total votes, but here's an article in English for you about it before the election results were posted.
The Mainichi Daily News Reports:
Ex-Gov Hashimoto assured of Victory in Osaka Mayoral Election
OSAKA (Kyodo) -- Former Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto is assured of victory in a contest Sunday for the mayoral post in Osaka, Japan's second-largest business center, by defeating incumbent Kunio Hiramatsu, as Hashimoto won support for his proposal to establish an Osaka metropolis with an administrative structure similar to Tokyo's, according to Kyodo News projections.
In a gubernatorial election held the same day to choose the successor to Hashimoto, 42, Ichiro Matsui, a 47-year-old former Osaka prefectural assembly member and Hashimoto's close aide in a local party led by the former governor, is set to win by beating six rivals in the race.
With the two from the Osaka Restoration Association headed toward victory, the election results are expected to stir a national debate on the structure of regional governments in Japan and influence the strategies of major political parties in the next House of Representatives election.
Hiramatsu, 63, who ran for reelection as an independent, was backed by local chapters of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party. Osaka prefectural assembly members of the two parties also supported Kaoru Kurata, 63, former mayor of Ikeda in Osaka Prefecture, in the gubernatorial race.
In the double election, the first held in Osaka in 40 years, Hashimoto's proposal to launch an Osaka metropolis by 2015 was highlighted as the most controversial issue.
The outspoken lawyer-turned-politician argued that his idea will eliminate overlapping administrative services by the prefectural and municipal governments and lead to the rehabilitation of the ailing local economy, with Matsui pushing the proposal in the gubernatorial election.
In contrast, Hiramatsu, a former TV anchorman, opposed the plan, saying administrative efficiency should be improved through the cooperation of each municipality.