Tue, Apr 24, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Nagasaki's new mayor vows to rid city of violence

AFP , TOKYO

Nagasaki's newly elected mayor vowed yesterday to rid the city of violence less than a week after a gangster shot dead his predecessor as he campaigned for office.

"I am determined to create a city with peace and safety," Tomihisa Taue said a day after he narrowly beat the son-in-law of mayor Iccho Ito, who died six days ago in an assassination that stunned Japan.

"We need to consider the situation by looking for ways to eradicate violence," the 50-year-old former municipal official told reporters at city hall.

Ito, a staunch anti-nuclear campaigner in a city forever linked to the world's second and last atomic attack, had been seen as a shoo-in for a fourth four-year term in the southwestern Japanese city.

The 61-year-old, who enjoyed cross-party political support, was shot twice in the back outside his campaign office near Nagasaki's central rail station on April 17.

Ito's assassin, Tetsuya Shiroo, has been linked to Japan's biggest underworld syndicate, Yamaguchi-gumi, and is thought to have had a personal grudge.

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