Photo/IllutrationDenny Tamaki, center, announces on Aug. 29 his intention to run in the Sept. 30 Okinawa gubernatorial election. The hat in front was a favorite of the late Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga. (Kengo Hiyoshi)

  • Photo/Illustraion

NAHA--Lower House opposition party member Denny Tamaki announced here on Aug. 29 that he would run in the Sept. 30 Okinawa gubernatorial election that could decide the future of a new U.S. military base in the prefecture.

He is expected to gain the backing of the "All Okinawa" movement, which played a key role in the late Takeshi Onaga's election as governor four years ago.

"I want to carry on the wishes of Governor Onaga and stop the construction of a new U.S. military base at Henoko," said Tamaki, 58, who currently represents the Okinawa No. 3 district from the Liberal Party.

Onaga died on Aug. 8 of pancreatic cancer. He had played a major role in opposing the central government's plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan in central Okinawa Prefecture to the Henoko district of Nago in the northern part of the prefecture.

In a tape recording made public after his death, Tamaki was one of two candidates Onaga hoped would run to succeed him, along with company operator Morimasa Goya.

Atsushi Sakima, 54, the former mayor of Ginowan, has already announced his candidacy for governor. He is being backed by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.