2015 Osaka Metropolis Plan referendum
A referendum on the implementation of the Osaka Metropolis plan was held in Osaka on 17 May 2015. In the event of a "yes" vote, the wards in Osaka City would be reorganized into special wards similar to those in Tokyo. The proposal was defeated by a slim margin of 10,741 votes (0.76%).
|Osaka Metropolis Plan referendum|
Sunday, 17 May 2015
|Referendum on the implementation of the Osaka Metropolis plan|
50.4% voted against the proposal. 13 out of 24 Osaka wards voted "no".
Interest on the referendum was particularly high. The turnout of 66.83% is 5.91% higher than the turnout in the 2011 mayoral and gubernatorial election.
|Invalid or blank votes||5,655||0.40|
|Registered voters and turnout||2,104,076||66.83|
|Source: Osaka City Electoral Commission|
|Ward||Electorate||Votes for||Votes against||For(%)||Against(%)||Valid votes||Invalid votes||Total||Turnout(%)||Proposed special ward|
Reactions to the resultEdit
After the defeat of the plan he had championed in the previous five years, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto announced that he would retire from politics once his term expired in December 2015. A major shakeup also occurred in Hashimoto's Japan Innovation Party, with the leader Kenji Eda and secretary-general Yorihisa Matsuno both announcing their resignation from their posts after the defeat.
The referendum outcome was perceived as a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had supported the plan despite opposition from the Osaka branch of his Liberal Democratic Party, hoping that the Innovation Party would in turn support his efforts to amend the Constitution.
- The Japan Times, May 17, 2015: Hashimoto announces exit from politics after Osaka rejects merger plan in referendum
- The Japan News (Yomiuri Shimbun), May 18, 2015: Osaka rejects city reform plan; Hashimoto to retire
- The Japan News (Yomiuri Shimbun), May 18, 2015: No retreat: Hashimoto’s final act
- The Japan Times, May 18, 2015: Osaka referendum causes turbulence for LDP, Komeito
- Asahi Shimbun, May 18, 2015: Defeat of Osaka referendum hurts Abe's constitutional revision strategy Archived 2015-05-21 at the Wayback Machine