Photo/IllutrationTaketoyo Toguchi checks out his new office as mayor of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Feb. 8. (Kentaro Koyama)

NAGO, Okinawa Prefecture--New Nago Mayor Taketoyo Toguchi vowed to end divisions in the city over a planned U.S. military base during his inauguration ceremony on Feb. 8.

“Beyond thoughts and creed, I want everyone to work together on managing this city as public servants,” Toguchi, 56, told municipal employees at the city office.

Toguchi, a former Nago assembly member, defeated incumbent Susumu Inamine, 72, in the Feb. 4 mayoral election.

A key issue in the election was the central government’s plan to construct a U.S. military base in Nago’s Henoko district that will take over the functions of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan in the prefecture.

Inamine, who was seeking his third term as Nago mayor, vehemently opposed the plan.

Although he was supported by the ruling coalition, Toguchi did not clearly state his stance on the planned base during the campaign, saying he was waiting for a ruling in a lawsuit between the central government and Okinawa Prefecture over the issue.

He did, however, indicate he was ready to receive central government subsidies for hosting U.S. bases.

“The division in Nago has been dragging on. I need to carefully explain my ideas to avoid causing friction between citizens,” Toguchi told reporters after the ceremony.

He did not elaborate on his plans.