Incumbent assured of victory in Kyoto gubernatorial election

Kyoto Gov. Keiji Yamada appeared assured of a fourth four-year term in the gubernatorial election Sunday, beating a challenger backed by the opposition Japanese Communist Party, according to a Kyodo News projection.

Supported by the New Komeito party and the local chapters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, Yamada, 60, was challenged by Nozomu Ozaki, a 59-year-old pediatrician. Both officially ran as independents.

During his campaign, Yamada pledged to create 30,000 regular jobs over the next four years and reduce the number of children waiting to enroll in nursery schools to zero.

Although the prefecture is located near Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama nuclear plant, partly within a zone where immediate evacuation is required in the event of a serious accident, Yamada largely avoided addressing the issue.

The incumbent is in his second term as president of the National Governors Association, after being reelected unopposed in April 2013.