politics

Okinawa gubernatorial race set for Sept 30

13 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
Login to comment

In the previous gubernatorial election four years ago, candidate Takeshi Onaga, who ran on the platform of anti-Henoko relocation, won it by landslides, defeating the incumbent Hirokazu Nakaima by a comfortable margin of 99,744 votes. Thus, Okinawa expressed its wish clear enough: No relocation of Futenma to Henoko and Futenma’s unconditional closure.

Yet, the central government forged ahead with the construction, saying danger of Futenma at its current site must be removed and Okinawa’s burden must be reduced. 

But we know the danger Futenma poses can be eliminated then and there if he Marine base were closed completely without moving it to another place within Okinawa. Okinawa's strategic location, as often pointed out, has nothing to do with the relocation issue. The core elements of Okinawa-deployed Marines are to move to Guam anyway, who will come to Okinawa on a rotation basis to train their combat skills in all types of warfare -- aerial, amphibious, jungle and urban warfare.      

Would voters be mesmerized by the central government’s pork barrel tactics and believe the in-island relocation is the only solution for the Futenma issue? Would they succumb to the central government’s blatant you-can't-fight-city-hall tactics? 

Let's wait and see.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Good luck Sakima-san! LDP and PM Abe will boost him to a big win, and the base issue will be finished finally.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Hopefully they find someone who is a little more interested in the actual voices of Okinawa and the majority instead of chasing after his personal vendetta at the expense of everything else.

voiceofokinawa: "Thus, Okinawa expressed its wish clear enough: No relocation of Futenma to Henoko and Futenma’s unconditional closure."

Not even close. Barely 50% of voters came out, and only 50% of that supported Onaga. Do the math -- that's not at all a majority of the people, it's a minority at best, and a minority of which many were brainwashed by the man's propaganda while he wined and dined on personal jets at their expense, and still accepted handouts for hosting the bases he demanded leave.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hopefully the new governor will  be someone who is not afraid to give the one finger salute to Abe and the rest of the right wing LDP members and Central Govt. bureaucrats who are prejudiced against the people of Okinawa. Mainland Japan owes the people of Okinawa big time for sacrificing them during WWII and for giving them to the U.S. Military but instead of paying them back for the sacrifices they have made, they continue to force the people of Okinawa to make more and more sacrifices. Mainland Japan has never cared about the people of Okinawa which has been shown over and over again ever since they annexed them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A lot of sweeping generalizations and anecdotes in that statement, good sir. It's not like the central government gives nothing, despite being one of the prefectures with the lower GDPs Okinawa receives a budget from the central government equal to Tokyo. Just compare population and GDP of those two prefectures... Also, despite cultural and ethnic differences Okinawa is Japan and Japan is Okinawa so in a sense you say they owe themselves. 

I'm looking forward to having a governor who is pragmatic and finds solutions through compromises and deals. I'm sick of one issue governors as stubborn as mules who forsake the real growth and potential of Okinawa and quality of life for Okinawans.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

smithinjaoan,

Do the math.

OK. Let me do a little math.

In the 2014 gubernatorial race, 4 contestants fought for governorship. Of whom,Takeshi Onaga garnered 360,820 votes, Hirokazu Nakaima 261,076, Mikio Shimoji 69,447 and Shokichi Kina 7,821. So, altogether, 699,164 voters voted in that election. Since there were 977,000 eligible voters at the time, the voter turnout was 72%.

Compare this situation with U.S. Presidential elections. Take the 2016 election, for instance The voter turnout was an estimated 55.5%, according to "Voter turnout in the United States presidential elections" (WIKIPEDIA). And how many actual votes did Donald Trump garner percentagewise? He garnered 46% as against Hillary Clinton's 48.1%.

So poking at Okinawa's gubernatorial elections is like "the pot calling the kettle black". 

How about the prime minister's elections in Japan? According to Japan's political system, a prime minister is elected only by the members of a majority party. Does Prime Minister Abe represent the nation in the true sense of the word then? I doubt it. And yet he exercises all-power authority to construct a new base at Henoko against the wish of Okinawa residents.

Is democracy really working In Japan and the U.S.?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Addendum:

According to TV Asahi's poll conducted in last July, the Abe cabinet's approval rating was 39.4%. Can Abe boast then that he represents the nation and so he can forge ahead with the Henoko relocation?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Japanese Govt. does not want an economic vibrant Okinawa or the people of Okinawa to be prosperous, they want the people of Okinawa to always be dependent on the budget from the Central Govt. because that is how they control them.

All the Central Govt. wants from the Gov. of Okinawa is to always say yes to everything they propose and then they will give him a budget full of pork barrel spending projects that mostly benefit the large Mainland Japan Construction Companies that contribute huge amounts of money to the LDP. A LDP led Central Govt. will not compromise or deal with Okinawa, they will tell them what they are going to do and to accept it or they will cut the budget.

I have lived under every post war democratically governor of Okinawa starting with Mr. Yara in 1968. The people of Okinawa fought hard for and had high hopes for reversion back to Japan but what they got is basically a continuation of the way the Japanese Govt. treated them before WWII.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Got proof? Like hard data and facts?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan,

Lawmaker Shinzo Abe's electoral district is the 4th electoral district in Yamaguchi Prefecture, which is situated in the western-most tip of the main island of Honshu. Abe is of course the bona fide prime minister of Japan in every respect of Japan's political system. 

But he's a lawmaker originated from Yamaguchi Prefecture, by being elected solely by voters in that prefecture’s 4th electoral district. Isn't it absurd and aberrant then that a person representing so small a district (no. of eligible voters: 257,249), who must be indifferent and unsympathetic to Okinawa’s burden and agony, should be given so much power as to determine the fate of Okinawa?

The whole election system for electing a prime minister must be overhauled, I think. Don’t you think so too?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

voice of okinawa,

No use to talking to smithinjapan, he is a Canadian living in Osaka and knows nothing about the U.S. Military and their Bases on Okinawa. He only posts on threads about Okinawa because of his dislike for the people of Okinawa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CyburneticTiger,

Everytime there is an important election in Okinawa that might affect the U.S. Military Bases, the Central Govt. makes promises of increased budgets if their candidate is elected and decreased budgets if their candidate is defeated. If Okinawa had a vibrant economy with a strong GDP and almost all of the people had good paying jobs, and was not dependent on the Central Govt. then the Central Govt. could not use the threats of decreasing budgets to force their will on the people. Also if Okinawa had a strong economy and GDP and most of the people had good paying jobs, because of the limited amount of land there would be the demand for more available land and with most of the U.S. Bases sitting on prime land then there would be more pressure to get rid of the bases which is something the Central Govt. does not want. The No. 1 priority on Okinawa for the Central Govt. is the stability of the U.S. Military Bases and achieving that stability means that the people of Okinawa need to stay dependent on the Central Govt. Budget so that the Central Govt. can use that budget as leverage to buy support for the bases.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Those don't qualify as support fact or evidence. It's just personal perception forming personal opinion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites