Jiji Press OKAWA, Kochi (Jiji Press) — Okawa Mayor Kazuhito Wada announced Monday that his depopulated village in Kochi Prefecture, has stopped its study on a proposed shift to direct democracy.
The mayor said the village will make its utmost effort to maintain the current municipal assembly of elected representatives.
Wada made the announcement after the internal affairs ministry established a panel of experts on proposed general councils composed of voters.
In addition, the Okawa and Kochi prefectural governments created a group to discuss ways to maintain the Okawa assembly.
Okawa, with a population of around 400, faces serious difficulties finding candidates for assembly members.
The mayor announced in June that his village would consider setting up a general council of voters. The country’s local autonomy law allows towns and villages to establish such councils under ordinances, instead of having assemblies.