Opposition-backed candidate wins Shizuoka Prefecture's gubernatorial race

The opposition-backed former mayor of Hamamatsu City has been elected as the new governor of central Japan's Shizuoka Prefecture.

Suzuki Yasutomo is supported by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and Democratic Party for the People.

He beat five other contenders in Sunday's gubernatorial election, including former Shizuoka Deputy Governor Omura Shinichi, who is supported by the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party. It was the first gubernatorial race in 15 years to not involve an incumbent or former governor.

During the election campaign, Suzuki emphasized his achievements and experience while serving as mayor of Hamamatsu City.

He is a proponent of the construction of the high-speed maglev-train section in Shizuoka, which the prefecture has yet to approve.

Suzuki's campaign pledges also include revival of the local economy by attracting businesses and nurturing start-up enterprises.

Suzuki says he will give his all to rebuild and further develop the prefectural government by utilizing his 25 years of political and administrative experience, knowledge and contacts.

He says now that the election is over, he intends to work with all residents to make their prefecture the happiest one in the country.

The chair of the LDP's election strategy committee, Obuchi Yuko, said in a statement that her party will take the judgment of residents of the prefecture seriously. She said the party will do its utmost for the development of the prefecture from the standpoint of benefiting its people.

The chair of the CDP's election strategy committee, Oogushi Hiroshi, told reporters that Suzuki's victory over the LDP-backed candidate has a great impact on national affairs amid deepening distrust of politics. He said the LDP has been unable to carry out a self-purification function at all over its slush fund scandal.