Hashimoto seeks fresh mandate to create Osaka metropolitan gov't


Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said Saturday that he will step down and seek a fresh public mandate in a new mayoral election in order to push his goal of creating a new Osaka to compete with Tokyo and other major cities around the world.

Hashimto, 44, made the announcement at a Tokyo convention of his One Osaka Party.

Hashimoto said his plan to consolidate the administrative frameworks of Osaka city and the prefecture has not progressed as fast he wanted due to infighting by four factions within the Osaka city assembly, Fuji TV reported. He said he will step down and call a new election to seek a new mandate for his plan.

He is expected to make a formal announcement on Monday.

Hashimoto's current term is not up until December 2015. He said he would like to hold a referendum on the issue sometime in the fall and then aim for the merger by April 2015.

Hashimoto, who is also co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party along with former Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara, was vague on whether he would relinquish that post, only saying that he wanted to devote his energy toward the Osaka metropolitan government project, Fuji reported.

However, Japan Restoration Party Secretary General Yorihisa Matsuno told reporters that the party will do all it can to help Hashimoto win reelection as Osaka mayor.

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Hasn't he done enough damage already to Japan's international image? What will he say next to cause outrage, only to 'clarify' his statements and claim he was 'misunderstood' the next day?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

"Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said Saturday that he will step down and seek a fresh public mandate in a new mayoral election"

How many teachers will vote Hashimoto? They took an oath of loyalty in closed meetings. Does that extend into the voting booth? Hashimoto has run a string of self deification efforts. What else did he accomplish? Maybe Osaka has an answer for him?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hashimoto said his plan to consolidate the administrative frameworks of Osaka city and the prefecture has not progressed as fast he wanted ......... Notice he wants all Osaka Fu (prefecture) to be consolidated to Osaka City. No Prefecture., he is planning. Never anyone had such funny plan. If entire Osaka Prefecture becomes Osaka City as he planned, he will not be voted, he does not realize. The most stupid dreaming he has. I knew he is not bright but did not know this much stupid.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I don't understand what his goal is, but I haven't been keeping up with the whole story. Does he think a unified Osaka will run more efficiently?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every single teacher and public employee has a duty to vote this this this joker out.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Huge Osaka City means huge school district, huge police dept with naby branchesm ditto with fire dept Inefficienciesa arise,.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

First of all, calling an election before his tenure is complete is a waste of public funds, something he claims to be against.

Secondly, even if the big-mouthed clown Hashimoto wins the election it won't give him a mandate to create a metropolitan area as people outside of Osaka city, e.g. in Sakai city, will not take part in the election. Besides, people in Sakai city already voted for a mayor who is against consolidation

I really hope he loses the election; I'll have a small party in that case. Someone who thinks that winning an election in one part of a prefecture gives him a mandate to do what he likes in the rest of the prefecture is clearly an idiot and does not deserve to be elected. Come on Osaka, send this buffoon back to the variety programmes where he belongs.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ha ha! His plan has nothing to do with making Osaka a better city. His plan only includes giving himself and his right-wing cronies more power to do whatever they like.

2 ( +3 / -2 )

He is tossing his fate into the hands of the Osaka voters. And being that they seem to like the guy, guess he will once again prevail at the polls. It doesn't matter if they understand the real issues or not, he is their man ...

When I visit Osaka I find it to be quite different from Tokyo. Guess that's one of the many reasons I like it ...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Toronto would kill for this kind of mayor.. instead we have Rob Ford..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@malfupete: At least Hashimoto did not love Justin. Let's didcussJapan's Osaka and Hashimoto instead of Justin loving Toronto mayor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And so once again Hashimoto doesn't get his way and so walks out on his job. Then he wants to get re-elected elsewhere to push his agenda again in a different forum? Not sure how this guy lives with himself; he's an embarrassment to politics and Japan in general. Next he'll be threatening to never give interviews again if this gets any bad press.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If he is elected and sticks to running Osaka fine. what is less fine is him opining on national and international issues.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Will he actually do it though? He promised once to step down if he lost and didn't. Best not to get my hopes up.

Osaka Fu hates him and will certainly NOT be keen on the idea of being ruled by him. Waste of time and money. Just step down, have an election which does not include him and be done with it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Merging Osaka city and prefecture actually makes a lot of sense; would eliminate one layer of local government which many other places in Japan could do with. But if the elected representatives don't agree, it is not going to happen of course.

The arrogance of the man is breathtaking; I hope his bluff is called and he is voted out, then comes good on his promise (this time; he didn't before of course) and disappears from politics entirely. Of course then he would probably reemerge on TV, and continue to plague the underserving people of Japan in a slightly different way.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hey I've seen this before.

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is!

It reminds me of my own city's amalgamation. 6 cities merged into one for "efficiency". It doesn't work. Hence why we have a world renowned crack smoking mayor when most of the downtown didn't vote for him, other northern cities did.

Unlike my city, Osaka already has the gold here, already a prefecture that can subdivide the wards under it into more autonomous areas; that's where the real efficiency lies. The fewer number of people who elect their representatives is then possible. The more accountability there is.

I can't see Osaka benefiting from only one leader, only Hashimoto benefiting from it. Which is the point.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hashimoto is a nitwit, like Abe, who deserves to be relegated to obscurity

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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