2 Candidates in Close Race in Shizuoka Gubernatorial Election; Yomiuri Survey, Reportage Find

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
People listen to a campaign speech in Shizuoka City on May 9.

1SHIZUOKA — Two of six candidates for the Shizuoka gubernatorial election are locked in a neck and neck battle, according to a telephone survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun and its analysis of the campaign’s reportage.

The two candidates are former Hamamatsu Mayor Yasutomo Suzuki, 66, recommended by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People, and former Shizuoka Deputy Gov. Shinichi Omura, 60, supported by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

However, the situation is uncertain as 20% of eligible voters have yet to choose whom to cast their ballot for in the election to be held Sunday.

The election is a showdown between the ruling and opposition parties. While Suzuki is backed by 70% of CDPJ supporters, Omura garnered the support of nearly 70% of LDP supporters and 50% of those supporting Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner.

Nearly 40% of independent voters support Suzuki, while Omura is backed by about 30% of them.

The survey found that 53% of respondents favor starting the planned construction of the Linear Chuo Shinkansen maglev line between Tokyo and Nagoya, while 27% are opposed. Construction of the 8.9-kilometer Shizuoka section of the maglev line is considered one of the major issues in the election campaign.

Four of the six candidates, including Suzuki and Omura, favor the construction while the others do not.

The Yomiuri Shimbun surveyed from Friday to Sunday in Shizuoka Prefecture using random digit dialing. The survey reached 1,302 households with at least one eligible voter. Valid responses were received from 707 people for a response rate of 54%.