Osaka mayor’s plan to divide up city rejected in referendum
May 19, 2015
The controversial referendum voted on in Osaka ended up giving a decision of “No” to the outspoken mayor’s plan to divide up the city into five special zones. The almost equally-divided outcome shows Osakans think their city administration should change.
When the voters were tallied, 705,585 votes (50.38%) were against the plan while 694,844 (49.62%) were for. The voter turnout stood at 67%.
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki on the following day held a press conference and said that the voting result is the fruit of people’s joint efforts irrespective of political party affiliations and that it represents the victory of residents’ common sense.
Yamashita pointed out that residents decided to reject the plan after giving serious consideration to the plan, whether they really want to dissolve the 126-year-old city.
He said that during the referendum campaign period, cooperation against the proposed division spread across the city. He went on to say that he hopes this cooperation can be a driving force behind policy changes in Osaka in the future and expressed his expectation that it will pave the way for genuine reforms.
Regarding the 690,000 people who cast “Yes” votes to the plan, Yamashita noted that they also wanted to change the city for the better through the mayor’s plan. He added it will be possible to hold fruitful discussions with them and reach an agreement on what measures should be taken to improve the city.