Misawa mayor who opposed night landings is re-elected
MISAWA, Japan — Misawa’s mayor, who campaigned calling for a ban on use of Misawa Air Base for U.S. Navy night-landing training, won re-election over an opponent who wanted to allow but limit such training there.
Shigeyoshi Suzuki, 62, was re-elected mayor of Misawa for his fifth term Sunday.
Suzuki received 13,281 votes over Tetsuro “Bill” Asano, 70, a retired Misawa Air Base civilian employee, who garnered 7,042 votes. Turnout was 62 percent, 11 percent lower than the last election four years ago.
Traditionally, Suzuki has been a staunch supporter of the U.S. Forces presence in the city because of its impact on the local economy.
But during this campaign, he called for an absolute ban of U.S. Navy night-landing training.
Capt. Richard High, Naval Air Facility Misawa commander, notified Suzuki on Dec. 27 that Misawa was named as a backup base for night-landing training being held last Friday through Sunday on Iwo Jima.
During the election campaign, Suzuki also promised to continue his policy of coexistence and co-prosperity with the base.