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Ex-Okinawan governor and anti-U.S. base campaigner Ota dies at 92


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While I hated him as a politician for what he did to the people of Okinawa, the recessions, and economic hardships his put us all through when he was Gov here , as he was the wrong Gov for the time, following the collapse of the bubble He stubbornly refused to negotiate with the national government and it caused all sorts of hardship for the people, that took at least a decade to recover from.

However I respected him highly as a man for standing up for his beliefs. His experiences guided him through much of his life. He did not do it for personal gain, nor was he a chameleon either, changing tunes to stay in power, he led his life with what I believe was with integrity.

He died on his birthday, June 12th, 2017...May he rest in peace.

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He stubbornly refused to negotiate with the national government 

But he was more than willing to charter planes and import protesters from the mainland. He started the current mess of base "protesters" with paid airfare plus room and board. His family owned the majority of land that Futenma sets on, over two thousand "base" landowners were added to the role when a chunk of Ota land was broken up into square inch parcels and sold in order to falsely increase number of so called disenfranchised okinawa landowners. Mr. Ota used and abused the people of Okinawa for his political agenda, a practice that continues to this day. Goodbye Mr. Ota.

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While as a politician I did not support him, I will not stoop to making accusations about the man without supporting it with actual proof and not just hearsay or third party rumors.

They were NOT broken into square inch parcels either, as there is no way to purchase that amount of land here. They were and are still called the "one-tsubo" group, and it's because of his anti-base stance and increase in public awareness of the issue that got more people involved.

One has to understand that previous to Ota, the internet was still pretty much in it's infancy here in Japan, but started to explode while he was in office and more and more people became aware of and supported his leftist agenda.

He "abused" the Okinawan people by his refusal to negotiate, and stopped national government funding for a huge number of infrastructure improvements, including but not limited to the monorail, and expressway, and building of more dams as well. These and other projects came to a screeching halt under him.

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He was a great and kind man who always acted in the interests of Okinawa. I had the honor of talking to him in his office two times in recent years. He bore no grudges against Americans, only the policies of the national government.

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He was a great and kind man who always acted in the interests of Okinawa. 

I have no doubt he was a kind man.

However he acted in what HE thought was the interest of Okinawa, and not what Okinawa needed at the time. He hurt Okinawa in many ways.

If what you say is true, he would never have lost his election to Inamine.

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I had the honour to meet Mr Ota a few years ago and spend a very happy couple of hours in his company. He struck me as full of life and interested in everything. He had the intelligence to pierce through any cover up and a deep understanding of human nature. He never lost sight of his vision despite tremendous opposition and truly represented his people.

Okinawa has lost a great man.

He will be remembered.

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He never lost sight of his vision despite tremendous opposition and truly represented his people.

"His" people? Just how much more condescending can you get? Ever wonder why there was tremendous opposition, even from within "his people" as you so arrogantly state?

His vision was not the vision that the "people" of Okinawa. You are probably too young to remember but under Ota unemployment was nearly 10%. Because of Ota's policies and refusal to negotiate, which is a politicians job, people suffered, families suffered, divorces increased, and bankruptcies increased among other issues as well.

I give him credit for sticking to his beliefs, but don't go and canonize him as he was hardly a saint.

 He had the intelligence to pierce through any cover up and a deep understanding of human nature. 

How interesting that you should mention this, maybe he was "piercing" through you? Because if it is as you think, he was certainly short-sighted not to see his own failings as a politician.

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Droll Quarry,

You are simply talking off the top of your head when you need hard evidence to support your claim. 


In the 1998 gubernatorial election, in which he sought the third term in office, Ota lost to LDP-backed candidate Keiichi Inamine, an entrepreneur-turned politician. It was unfortunate for Ota that Japan's bubble economy had collapsed and Okinawa was no exception among all prefectures undergoing a depression.

At that time traditional business centers in towns and cities were experiencing hardship with shoppers and customers being attracted to big American-style shopping centers and shopping malls planted in the suburbs. Ma and pa shops on main streets in cities had fewer and fewer customers and many had to close shops.

The businessman-turned candidate made the most use of it, attributing the economic doldrums to the Ota administration's inability to handle economic issues as if Ota was all responsible for the nation's depression. Rather than taking on the economy, the Ota camp concentrated on base issues only on campaign trails and you know the rest of the story.

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