The elections for the next governor of Kumamoto were held on Sunday, March 27.
The candidates were:
- Daisuke Terauchi, a lawyer
- Ikuo Kabashima, current governor of Kumamoto running for his third term
- Seiji Koyama, former three-term mayor of Kumamoto City (2002-2014)
The results are as follows:
- Ikuo Kabashima – 504,931 (68%)
- Seiji Koyama – 201,951 (27%)
- Daisuke Terauchi – 33,955 (5%)
51.01% of eligible voters participated, an increase of 12.57% from the last election in 2008.
One particular item of interest for Kumamoto JETs is one of Governor Kabashima’s policy promises he made during the election. Some high school ALTs may already be aware of the グローバル人材の育成 (gurobaru jinzai no ikusei) program. The governor wants to continue support of that program, as well as helping support Kumamoto students to pursue university election abroad (similar to his own experience from studying in Nebraska and Harvard). He also wants to make Kumamoto the number one place for English education in Japan (experienced JETs may already seen some inroads towards this with measures like the “You Can Do It” books, the Kumamon Challenge English quiz, and the most recent ES/JHS English Camps).
Some of the other important measures he mentioned during the campaign:
- Make Kumamoto a tourism spot for the world. Going off the recent entry of Manda Coal Mine and Misumi West Port as World Heritage Sites, work to make Sakitsu Village and Aso World Heritage Sites as well.
- Take advantage of Kumamoto’s location in the center of Kyushu and like how Rome was in the past, make Kumamoto “the place where all roads go through in Kyushu”. Work to promote Kumamoto’s connections with the other prefectures of Kyushu and increase the profile of Kumamoto.
Information on policies taken from http://manifestoswitchkumamoto.strikingly.com/