politics

Voting under way in Ginowan mayoral election

41 Comments
By Elaine Lies

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But such a line of argument is surely lost on someone who never experienced a certain kind of hardship or who simply isn't able to empathize with the hardship of people from a different cultural background.

Right-wing rumors, baseless accusations and insulting language towards the Okinawan people, their democratic process and their representatives.

If one doesn't know about Okinawas recent history and the social reality discriminatory remarks are surely the easiest way to catch attention. But with the Uyoku crowd applauding you, smithinjapan, I'm not sure if it is the attention you are looking for.

Invalid/inaccurate assumptions about background, insinuations, and insults by association are all hallmarks of someone who lacks facts to support any of their arguments. I find those type of people typically aren’t worth the effort of engaging in any type of civil, productive discussion. And they typically always have to have the last word.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Doesn't matter now, Sakima won and that shoots Onaga in the foot or quite a bit higher. Been saying it all along, and now here is proof, people want it gone, whether it be Henoko or otherwise.

He won by nearly 6,000 votes, 27,668 to 21,811, proof again that Onaga is not what "everyone" wants!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you think that Okinawa becoming an independent nation from Japan is the solution to the base issues and mainland Japan treating Okinawa like a dumping ground then you're head is in the sand.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

bam_boo: "Could it be that there's a slight difference between making a decision based on "fear of losing ones livelihood" and making a decision "for money reasons"?"

Not when the "fear of losing one's livelihood" means money, no. You can try to water down your own admittance all you like, but you yourself have said they choose money, and now are trying to back track.

"But such a line of argument is surely lost on someone who never experienced a certain kind of hardship or who simply isn't able to empathize with the hardship of people from a different cultural background."

Well, then, your own line of argument is lost on yourself because you admitted they make decisions based on money. You simply cannot take it back. And what's with this "hardship" nonsense? One minute you are saying that they are not choosing money, even though you say they are choosing money, but only choosing it because of extreme hardship and having no choice, and then the next saying that despite hardship they chose Onaga because Nakaima betrayed them (contradicting yourself again).

"Right-wing rumors, baseless accusations and insulting language towards the Okinawan people, their democratic process and their representatives."

Wrong. Fact. He flew to the US on the taxpayer's dime to play himself up despite knowing it was useless. Did he fly economy?

"But with the Uyoku crowd applauding you, smithinjapan, I'm not sure if it is the attention you are looking for."

Not me looking for the attention; it's Onaga, for his own personal plans.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

So if the opposition candidate were to win central govt. would withhold money from impoverished children that need those funds. Seriously?... Just when you thought LDP could not sink any lower into the gutter.

NO it wont happen, it's politics and BS fear-mongering....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So if the opposition candidate were to win central govt. would withhold money from impoverished children that need those funds. Seriously?... Just when you thought LDP could not sink any lower into the gutter. This is so disgusting in a supposedly " developed " country....won't even touch on the " democratic" side of this coin.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nakaima has betrayed Okinawans and they voted him out of office for this betrayal even they knew it would hurt them.

That is your opinion, there are a host of reasons why Onaga won and "betrayal" is not one of them. You have a bad habit of over exaggerating the truth, AND are blind to reality.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@ smithinjapan

So, yes... choosing money over principles -- you prove what you claimed was not true.

Could it be that there's a slight difference between making a decision based on "fear of losing ones livelihood" and making a decision "for money reasons"?

But such a line of argument is surely lost on someone who never experienced a certain kind of hardship or who simply isn't able to empathize with the hardship of people from a different cultural background.

and in fact that's what happened when Nakaima tried to pull the same crap Onaga is pulling for political points and the government was going to pull money, so when people began to suffer Nakaima chose for himself and for them the money.

So then according to your "Okinawans have no principles" theory how could it happen that they voted for Onaga even Tokyo made it clear that it would cut budgets?

Nakaima has betrayed Okinawans and they voted him out of office for this betrayal even they knew it would hurt them.

This was a decision based on principles and with certainty it was not the first of such uncomfortable decisions that Okinawans have took along their long and thorny path.

Onaga is not doing what he is doing for the people -- he is flying around on his own chartered jets for his own personal missions, eating and drinking high class, and pretending that he's 'suffering' for the people when in reality they will ultimately suffer for his selfish behaviour, and he will not care at all.

Right-wing rumors, baseless accusations and insulting language towards the Okinawan people, their democratic process and their representatives.

If one doesn't know about Okinawas recent history and the social reality discriminatory remarks are surely the easiest way to catch attention. But with the Uyoku crowd applauding you, smithinjapan, I'm not sure if it is the attention you are looking for.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I love that "Lew Chu" line that secessionist love throwing out but I've never heard an Okinawan refer to themselves as Lew Chu... I've heard Uchinanchu. I might be wrong, but Lew Chu is the Chinese reading of the characters for Ryukyu so it makes me wonder who is pushing the Lew Chu narrative. Regardless, the Ginowan election is completely unrelated to secession and as many residents argue the Henoko relocation. They just want to vote for a Mayor.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

America should have kept Okinawa as the 51st state

It's not in the Constitution, but you'll never have an odd number of States. The parties will never approve a potential "enemy" state without gaining a "friendly" state as well. Alaska/Hawaii were the last ones.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The people of Lew Chew (Ryukyu) deserve independence! Japan has no right to continue occupying the islands. Set the people free

Start with the US giving Manhattan Island back to the native American's who got ripped off in the process.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

National concerns trump local concerns. Accept that, or secede.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The people of Lew Chew (Ryukyu) deserve independence! Japan has no right to continue occupying the islands. Set the people free!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

When a country depends its security on other nation, there arises many difficult problems. We still suffer the results we lost the war. Okinawa has many U.S. bases, yes, but it is not necessarily unfair but because Okinawa was under the U.S. administration until The Okinawa Return in 1972.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Boy this sure stinks like hell...............abe why not set up some printing presses in peoples homes in Ginowan...........

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bam_boo: "It is also factually wrong to purport that Okinawans have always chosen money over principles."

Just a lot of the times, and the majority.

"If you are a citizen of the by far poorest prefecture in a rich and expensive nation you don't always have too many choices if you want to keep your job"

So, yes... choosing money over principles -- you prove what you claimed was not true.

"but the large majority surely do not make their decisions because they want "more money"."

Yes, they do, just like you just admitted; and in fact that's what happened when Nakaima tried to pull the same crap Onaga is pulling for political points and the government was going to pull money, so when people began to suffer Nakaima chose for himself and for them the money. Fact. They always have, and they always will. Onaga is not doing what he is doing for the people -- he is flying around on his own chartered jets for his own personal missions, eating and drinking high class, and pretending that he's 'suffering' for the people when in reality they will ultimately suffer for his selfish behaviour, and he will not care at all.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

If China is such a concern for all parties

Except for Okinawans apparently. Why? Maybe that's the question you should be asking.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"...backing for a Disney resort and aid for impoverished children..." I've never been to Okinawa, but here on the "mainland," you would have had them at "Disney." This is disgusting if we take the phrasing of the article at face value...that impoverished children are bargaining chips. I mean, wow. What can we expect though? Just think of what it takes to climb the political ladder in this country. I doubt there is much left of the soul upon arrival.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If China is such a concern for all parties, and the Senkukus seems to be a big part, and it is about security, then do as the Romans do, build. The Senkaku islands are under Japan's administrative control, and China has proved to build islands out of rocks, why not both the US and Japan do the same and move the forces there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

borscht: "Tokyo, Yokohama, Saitama... That area should have MORE military bases."

Yeah, because if the enemy attacks they'll change their mind and not start with the outlying Okinawan islands since it is 'unfair' and the bases should be moved. Nah, it has NOTHING to do with geographical and strategic positioning, and I'm sure the enemy would wait for the fighters to scramble from much, much further away so that it would be 'fair'.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Tomorrow Sunday January 24 around 10p.m.(Japan Time) we will know if the carrot and stick still works. If the Okinawans do not go for the carrot ....watch Abe use the Stick.

No, do not exaggerate this election! This is a local city election, in Ginowan, it is not a prefectural wide one, BUT it will be a microcosm of how people view Onaga and his policies. IF the incumbent wins this election Onaga is going to be faced with a problem he really does not want....being forced to accept that he and his push against Henoko is not what the people who live in Ginowan want.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Komeito sold out its basic principles when it support led Abe in re-interpreting the Constitution and supporting the sales tax increase.... It's base should send the sell-out leadership a message by voting for the opposite candidate to the one they are told to.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

AsianGaijinYesWeExist,

Rather than Kyushu, I think Tokyo should shoulder the defensive burden. Tokyo, Yokohama, Saitama... That area should have MORE military bases.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So much high wire for a country being the safest

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This election could very well be decided by the weather. It is forecast to be cold down here tomorrow, (cold, VERY cold for here in fact) high temps between 8C and 10C with rain. That very well may keep people away from the polls and that gives the incumbent a better chance of winning.

Either way, let the people have their say.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Pure bribery and corruption but what else can one expect from our Dear Leader ?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I'll be surprised if Atsushi keeps his post as Mayor. Shimura has been campaigning since September and even got a NHK tv crew to follow him around for a day. With all the added help from the sayoku/heiwa groups from and visiting the island waving his banner he has to be the popular candidate. Ginowan has made some great improvements the last few years under Atsushi sad to see him go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US military brass is OK with whatever the Japanese government wants as long as they too benefit by going along with the LDP. Naha Airport on Okinawa is too congested although in contrary it is still the old Naha Air Base. The commerical side only occupies 10% of the whole installation. The Japanese military, to it's credit, thinks or is forced to think, on long term basis.

If Naha AirBase is destroyed they must think of a fallback like they did from Shuri Castle to Kochinda, southern Okinawa and finally to Mabuni, southernmost Okinawa in 1945. The fallback is Henoko and the US military knows that and remains silent although the brass knows what the long term thinking of the LDP is but the benefits for the US military, at least for now, is too beneficial to pass up. The only victims again would be the Okinawans in any military confrontation and many of them now understand what is at stake and will be going to the polls on Sunday morning. Will Abe understand the outcome and humbly accept the wishes of the Okinawans? I think not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"To help the incumbent’s chances at Sunday’s poll, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has dangled prospects of a bigger budget for Okinawa, backing for a Disney resort and aid for impoverished children in Japan’s second-poorest prefecture."

That's pretty sick. Cut funding if they continue to resist the construction, and continue to fight it in court, but to offer money ONLY IF their candidate wins -- and to poor kids who won't get it otherwise -- is sad, and wouldn't get my vote if I were on the fence about the issue.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

gaijintraveller,

This is not how democracy is supposed to work

Who said anything about Democracy?

Certainly not ultra right-wing Abe.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This is not how democracy is supposed to work: You vote for our candidate and will give you lots of money, but if you vote for the candidate you want, your island will suffer.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Tokyo goes for broke to win Ginowan City's mayoral election? Why are Prime Minister Abe and his cohorts so frantic to win it and to move U.S. Marine Air Station Futenma to Henoko? Because it benefits Japan's security and defense as well as because a U.S. think tank, CSIS, says in its January 19 report to the Pentagon that the Henoko relocation is the best solution?

As I wrote on another thread, there's no raison d'etre for Futenma's function to be in Okinawa, for the Marines are stationed here not necessarily for the defense of Japan. A USFJ top brass's boasting that his troops are ready to sacrifice their lives to defend Japan is nothing but shenanigans pleasing only to the ear.

The Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation signed last April stipulate primary responsibilities for Japan's defense rest with the SDF. To quote the Guideline in part: "The Self-Defense Forces will have primary responsibility for conducting operations to check and repel such invasions." In all cases the USFJ plays only a supporting role for the SDF.

So Prime Minister Abe, why are you so frantic about moving Futenma to Henoko? Answer us, please.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This stinks of censorship and coercion. Tokyo investing tax payers money so they can get a yes man in power... Talk about a dictatorship!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

It is very heavy handed. The central government using is power to influence election is not just heavy handed. It is unethical. I hope the opposition wins.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Come on already. Let the "real" citizens of Ginowan City make their own decisions concerning the adjacent Futenma base and the man they want for mayor. But actually it's too late for that. With full Soka Gakkai backing and all those empty offers from the central government in Tokyo, it's going to be a tough battle for newcomer KIeiichiro Shimura.

By the way ... did you notice that Shimura-san's name was not included in the above article. Does that mean that he's already written off as a loser? Sure hope not. And whose name do we get? None other than Shinjiro Koizumi, "a telegenic lawmaker who is popular with unaffiliated voters." This Koizumi, probably a future prime minister in Japan (like his father was), is popular in Okinawa ... and with unaffiliated voters?" Who in the heck wrote the above article? Sounds like a pro-Abe, pro-Jiminto hack to me.

After reading the above article and digesting all news from here and other sources, I feel that a Shimura victory would prove that Okinawans can actually overcome all odds of interference by the central government in Tokyo and Komeito and its brainwashed Soka Gakkai backers.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Sounds pretty heavy handed.

I agree with AsianGaijin. Okinawa should declare independence. Whether the US bases remain depends on negotiations between Okinawa and the US.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

To help the incumbent’s chances at Sunday’s poll, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has dangled prospects of a bigger budget for Okinawa, backing for a Disney resort and aid for impoverished children in Japan’s second-poorest prefecture.

In normal circles this is called a bribe and would be deemed illegal

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Are the Okinawans so gullible to think that the CEOs of Disneyland would even think of branching out to an isolated island susceptible to all tourism negatives like frequent typhoons, sensitive political issues, bad economy, bad education and natives themselves leaving the island for greener pastures in mainland Japan?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The Ryukyu people should have their own nation. The Americans can then move to Kyushu.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

They did.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Very interesting how the govt. can pay tribute, but individuals cannot. So sad.

America should have kept Okinawa as the 51st state

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

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