Monday, February 3, 2014

Osaka mayor announces resignation

The mayor of Osaka City says he is stepping down to seek a mandate for his proposal to create a metropolitan government in the Osaka region.

Toru Hashimoto told a news conference on Monday that he will call a mayoral election.

Osaka prefectural governor, Ichiro Matsui, also attended the conference. He is an executive of Hashimoto's political base, the One Osaka Party.

Hashimoto said the political groups in the assemblies of the prefecture and the city rejected his request to choose one of his 4 draft plans for the proposed entity. Only his party has accepted the request.

He said he needs a fresh mandate to draw up a blueprint for a metropolitan government.
Hashimoto is calling for creating a new government by April next year by merging the prefectural and municipal authorities.

He argues that the new entity will eliminate unnecessary administrative work and provide better services to residents.

The One Osaka Party is the regional wing of the Japan Restoration Party, co-led by Hashimoto and former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara.

The municipal election commission of Osaka says the city spent about 5.6 million dollars, including personnel costs, for the mayoral election in 2007.

It says the cost for the last election in 2011 was roughly 6.2 million dollars. The vote was held on the same day as an election to choose the prefectural governor of Osaka.