New face wins mayoral race for evacuated town in Fukushima

People evacuated from the town of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture following the 2011 nuclear disaster chose a new leader in a mayoral election Sunday, ditching the incumbent who was seeking a fifth four-year term.

Koichi Miyamoto, 66, a former town assembly chairman, beat Katsuya Endo, 73. Both independents had called for the reconstruction of the town, where residents cannot return for at least five years due to the need for decontamination and infrastructure work.

Four polling stations were set up in the cities of Koriyama, Iwaki and Fukushima for mayoral election, while evacuees in temporary housing cast early votes and those outside of the prefecture voted by absentee ballot.