Okinawa governor's camp fails to win majority in prefectural assembly poll

The political camp supporting the governor of Okinawa in southern Japan has failed to secure a majority in Sunday's prefectural assembly election. Governor Tamaki Denny opposes the central government's plan to relocate a US military base within the prefecture.

Seventy-five candidates ran for 48 seats in the election. Voter turnout was 45.26 percent, a record low.

The Liberal Democratic Party, which does not back Tamaki, and self-proclaimed neutral forces, including the Japan Innovation Party and Komeito, grabbed 28 seats, up four from the pre-election level.

This is the first time in 16 years that forces led by the LDP have acquired a majority in the assembly.

At the Diet, the LDP and Komeito are in the governing coalition while the Japan Innovation Party is in the opposition.

Meanwhile, Okinawa's political camp supporting Governor Tamaki took 20 seats, down four from the pre-election showing. It includes the Japanese Communist Party, the Constitutional Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party.

The three parties are all in the opposition at the Diet.

Tamaki spoke to reporters early on Monday after the election results came in. He said he has to sincerely accept the outcome and examine whether his way of handling prefectural politics was right and whether he should have worked harder.

But the governor added that he remains steadfastly opposed to relocation of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district of Nago City.

The base is currently situated in a densely populated area in the city of Ginowan.