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Bloc backing Okinawa's anti-U.S. base governor fails to win majority

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Good.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

The people have spoken.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Redemption, Less than 50% of the people have "spoken".

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

Okinawans definitely want a big, strong, and protective US presence - and this vote shows it. Communist China has been licking its lips for decades, eyeing the Okinawan Islands as part of their territorial expansion.

Unfortunately for Denny-san the gig is up.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

45.62 percent of the voters have spoken.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

If you’re too lazy to vote or don’t care enough to you have no right to cry about the result.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

45.62 percent of the voters have spoken.

55 percent of Okinawans are lazy and apathetic about this issue. Bad luck, they can have no complaints about the result.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

It's because Tamaki is a one issue politician. Okinawans have other concerns they'd like addressed too. The economy. Infrastructure. Education. Support for children and the elderly. Public transportation. The list goes on. While base negotiations evolve over the course of decades, locals are tired these other issues are always on the back burner.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Even with china ramming Philippine ships at sea, in International Waters, people are still questioning why the US is in Okinawa.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

Even with china ramming Philippine ships at sea, in International Waters, people are still questioning why the US is in Okinawa.

Most people questioning the strong protection afforded by the US are paid to do so by the CCP. Yep - including some on here I'm afraid.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

The people have spoken.

Yes. Some of them have. But with a voter turnout of 45 percent, it only indicates that most Okinawans know that whatever they vote, it's going to turn out the same.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Okinawans definitely want a big, strong, and protective US presence - and this vote shows it. Communist China has been licking its lips for decades, eyeing the Okinawan Islands as part of their territorial expansion.

Wrong. The people in Okinawa want leaders that are working for the entire population of Okinawa and not just stuck on one issue.

This is the biggest reason why Deny lost, and now all the prefectural mayors as well as the prefectural assembly are being led by people who are pragmatic about the issues facing Okinawa.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Japan-US relationship forever !

11 ( +16 / -5 )

"I take (the result) seriously," Tamaki told reporters in the prefectural capital of Naha on Monday, while admitting he "will be forced into a very difficult position."

Yup and like any decent Japanese politician, who is in a leadership position and suffers a defeat this big, the ONLY way to take things seriously and BE taken seriously, is to resign, and go silently into the night!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Voter turnout was the lowest on record at 45.62 percent, according to the local election committee.

This alone screams out loud, the importance of registering your vote.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

This alone screams out loud, the importance of registering your vote.

Me thinks you got it wrong here. The "Importance" of actually voting!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Even with china ramming Philippine ships at sea, in International Waters, people are still questioning why the US is in Okinawa.

I think there are also enough adequate people in Japan who cannot find an answer to the obvious question: what is the US doing in Syria? They are probably the people who are able to extrapolate situations.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Poor Denny got called out for the one trick pony that he is.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I do feel sorry for the Ryukyuans/Loochooans. They lost their independence, were forced to use Japanese as their primary language, became a US vassal state, and then never regained their independence while having to host US military bases and all the baggage and crime that comes with it. They deserve more but remain the poorest prefecture in Japan. Child poverty is twice the national average and salaries are much lower. Absolutely shameful how they've been treated by both Tokyo and Washington. Historically they were treated much better by their big neighbor to the west.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

people care more about their own financial condition than geopolitics.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yubaru

If you are a J citizen you are automatically “registered to vote” and get a card before each election.

When I suggest "registering" your vote, I mean actually physically entering the booth and choosing a candidate.

Maybe I wasn't clear.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

a smash in the face for the china and again, it proves that pro-chicom candidates will have no place in Japan!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

China, which wishes to invade Okinawa, will not be pleased with this result.

As China's economy worsens, has it become less active in political maneuvering in Okinawa?

An election has already been held in Okinawa on whether it should belong to Japan.

The result should be respected, and if they want to overturn it, they can hold another election.

It is likely that politicians like Denny are the reason why Okinawa remains poor despite receiving over 3 billion dollars of Japanese tax money every year.

Also, if we expel the US military like in the Philippines, we will be able to closely observe what China does.

If the people of Okinawa do not want to follow in the footsteps of the Philippines, they should stop voting for someone like Denny.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Okinawa seem to be exhausted to continue to resist oppression or harassments or irrational from central LDP regime who completely ignore public will.

Serious matters that Okinawa facing are also whole Japan matter. but it's actuality that mainland push excessive burden or risk to Okinawa only.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Redemption, Less than 50% of the people have "spoken".

Thats how democracy works. You have a right not to vote, but doing so means you’re leaving your situation and n the hands of other people. Your voice is only going to be heard if you actually open your mouth to speak.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Kuku Today 07:53 pm JST

Even with china ramming Philippine ships at sea, in International Waters, people are still questioning why the US is in Okinawa.

I think there are also enough adequate people in Japan who cannot find an answer to the obvious question: what is the US doing in Syria? They are probably the people who are able to extrapolate situations.

Is it really the US who wants to be in Syria....or whoever is CONTROLLING the US that wants US to be in Syria?

Hint: It's not the Americans.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hint: It's not the Americans.

Information for reflection: The legal Syrian government did not invite Americans.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Because ONCE AGAIN, they are not in the majority in terms of opinion, so why would they win as such? Denny wants the government handouts to host the bases, but doesn't want to host the bases.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

If I were Danny, I would put the independence referendum on the ballot.

Independence is the only way to get Americans off Okinawa for good.

-20 ( +3 / -23 )

Samit Basu Today 12:31 am JST

Independence is the only way to get Americans off Okinawa for good.

As an anti-Japanese, you would love that, wouldn't you?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

KukuJune 17 07:53 pm JST

Even with china ramming Philippine ships at sea, in International Waters, people are still questioning why the US is in Okinawa.

I think there are also enough adequate people in Japan who cannot find an answer to the obvious question: what is the US doing in Syria? They are probably the people who are able to extrapolate situations.

Northern Syria is a hotbed of terrorism, as is the SCS by the attacks on the Philippine coast guard.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Samit BasuToday 12:31 am JST

If I were Danny, I would put the independence referendum on the ballot.

Independence is the only way to get Americans off Okinawa for good.

And even if that were legal, what would Okinawa's economy look like, depending solely on the mad scramble to clean tourist hotel rooms?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Independence is the only way to get Americans off Okinawa for good.

You’d just be replacing them with the Chinese (which I’m sure you’re happy about)

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Northern Syria is a hotbed of terrorism, as is the SCS by the attacks on the Philippine coast guard.

Is Northern Syria not Syria?By this you mean that Americans should not be invited. Americans find their own reasons and decide for themselves where to come.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

KukuToday 01:43 am JST

Northern Syria is a hotbed of terrorism, as is the SCS by the attacks on the Philippine coast guard.

Is Northern Syria not Syria?By this you mean that Americans should not be invited. Americans find their own reasons and decide for themselves where to come.

It's almost like we invaded a sovereign country with three treaties backing up its territorial integrity.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Guess the voters are saying that you can't just keep running on the same tired issue that is already a done deal. Time to actually start governing and tackle core issues the people need taken care of, Denny.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Wesley

As an anti-Japanese, you would love that, wouldn't you?

Okinawans deserve their freedom just like Taiwanese and Koreans after the surrender, especially what happened after the Battle of Okinawa.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-FGZLTep0g

Mr. Miyagi's Geography Lesson

This is a very famous movie clip in the US given the cultural impact of Karate Kid

@TaiwanIsNotChina

what would Okinawa's economy look like, depending solely on the mad scramble to clean tourist hotel rooms?

China promises to invest hundreds of billions into Okinawa's tourism infrastructure to turn it into Hawaii of Asia post independence.

@JboneInTheZone

You’d just be replacing them with the Chinese (which I’m sure you’re happy about)

Chinese tourists are less worse than US troops in terms of impact on the locals and spend far more money than US soldiers. After all, Chinese tourists are subject to local laws, the US troops not necessarily.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Samit BasuToday 02:34 am JST

China promises to invest hundreds of billions into Okinawa's tourism infrastructure to turn it into Hawaii of Asia post independence.

So basically cleaning hotel rooms. Would be quite a scandal if China was calling for independence, though.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Chinese tourists are less worse than US troops in terms of impact on the locals and spend far more money than US soldiers. After all, Chinese tourists are subject to local laws, the US troops not necessarily.

I’m talking about Chinese influence and incursions into territorial waters. Look what China is doing to the Philippines. I can only imagine how much worse it would be for a hypothetical independent Okinawa who just decided to cut ties with both Japan AND America

This is why Anti-American posters on this site get on my nerves. They can’t see the consequences of their actions. They think for whatever reason that a vacuum left by US pullback will be filled with peace and harmony. They don’t realize that you have 1 of three options: The US, China, or Russia. There is no world where the US starts pulling back and that void isn’t filled by China or Russia

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Okinawans deserve their freedom just like Taiwanese and Koreans after the surrender, especially what happened after the Battle of Okinawa.

They don’t want it though. They’re happy with the current arrangement

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Chinese tourists are less worse than US troops in terms of impact on the locals and spend far more money than US soldiers.

Chinese tourists are a heck of a lot more annoying, on a daily basis, than any of the incidents that ocassionally occur with the military. At least the overwhelming majority of the military folks have decent manners.

And please get things straight, there are very few US "soldiers" on Okinawa.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Soldier, sailor, marine. They can all take a hike.

And please get things straight, there are very few US "soldiers" on Okinawa.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Soldier, sailor, marine. They can all take a hike.

except when you need them.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@TaiwanIsNotChina

Would be quite a scandal if China was calling for independence, though.

China treats Okinawa governor like some head of sovereign state currently under Japanese/American occupation like Palestine is under Israeli occupation.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/China-up-close/Analysis-Why-China-rolled-out-the-red-carpet-for-Okinawa-governor

Analysis: Why China rolled out the red carpet for Okinawa

https://pulitzercenter.org/stories/china-winning-online-allies-okinawas-independence-movement

China Is Winning Online Allies in Okinawa’s Independence Movement

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3127810/us-analyst-claims-china-backing-okinawa-independence-movement

US analyst claims China is backing Okinawa independence movement in bid to drive wedge between Tokyo, Washington

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

@JboneInTheZone

They don’t want it though. They’re happy with the current arrangement

There is only one way to find out for sure, an independence referendum.

If Japan is so sure of Okinawan willingness to stay a part of Japan, then Tokyo will surely agree to the independence referendum to answer this question once and for all, right?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

taiwan:

Northern Syria is a hotbed of terrorism

You don't seem to realize that America is there stealing its oil. Or perhaps you do but don't want to admit it.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

There is only one way to find out for sure, an independence referendum.

Or you could poll people, like this:

“In 2017, Okinawa Times, Asahi Shimbun (based in Osaka) and Ryukyusu Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (of the All-Nippon News Network), newspapers who are subsidiaries of those in Japan, jointly conducted prefectural public opinion surveys for voters in the prefecture. It claimed that 82% of Okinawa citizens chose "I'm glad that Okinawa has returned as a Japanese prefecture".

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryukyu_independence_movement#Recent_public_opinion

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If Japan is so sure of Okinawan willingness to stay a part of Japan, then Tokyo will surely agree to the independence referendum to answer this question once and for all, right?

Where have they said they won’t and where have Okinawan’s stated they even want to? The fact that there hasn’t been a referendum pretty much destroys your theory they want to be independent

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There is only one way to find out for sure, an independence referendum.

Right Japanese voting about independence from Japan. Sounds totally logical!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Redemption, Less than 50% of the people have "spoken". 

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Like the Rush song says, “If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.”

Pretty weak argument by the anti-base brigade.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Soldier, sailor, marine. They can all take a hike.

The airmen feel left out.

If you’re going to be hateful, please be all inclusive with your hate.

Don’t discriminate spread the hate!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There's nothing hateful about it. It's past time to go home. Japan can look after itself. This will lead to a more prosperous Japan as the country and people can fully engage with its Asian neighbors without seeing everything through a military/security lens.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

This will lead to a more prosperous Japan as the country and people can fully engage with its Asian neighbors without seeing everything through a military/security lens.

Too bad China and Russia see friendliness and generosity as weakness and will exploit any attempt at cooperation and engagement.

The civilized world already tried that approach.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Okinawa needs more US troops to be based there.

Great for the economy, and safety of Japan.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I do feel sorry for the Ryukyuans/Loochooans. They lost their independence, were forced to use Japanese as their primary language, became a US vassal state,

Geez, no thank you for your condescending attitude here. I doubt you feel sorry for the native American's who were murdered by European invaders, and stole their land.

The Ryukyu kingdom was subjugated to "mainland" rule literally here, over 400 years ago. When are you going to accept that we live in 2024 and not 1601

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Maybe I wasn't clear.

Really?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

China promises to invest hundreds of billions into Okinawa's tourism infrastructure to turn it into Hawaii of Asia post independence.

Chinese tourists are less worse than US troops in terms of impact on the locals and spend far more money than US soldiers. After all, Chinese tourists are subject to local laws, the US troops not necessarily.

These comments almost made me laugh from how silly it sounds. Not the same China who are the wanna be colonizers of this day and age? They would take over Okinawa and then "get rid of" anyone who has a problem with it, if we look at how Hong Kong is doing now. And that one bad Marine who has his head in his ah does not represent all US military in Okinawa. But I do hear multiple cases of Chinese doing wrong in Japan like the taxi driver who only allowed Chinese customers or the one who got away with the graffiti and that's only recent events like not even a full month

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Is it really the US who wants to be in Syria....or whoever is CONTROLLING the US that wants US to be in Syria?

The US and allies have forces in Syria to keep a lid on IS and prevent them from regaining control of oil fields east of the Euphrates River. Those oil fields were a major source of revenue for IS when they were at their peak. Denying them access to their old revenue streams is part of a global strategy to keep a lid on IS. Now the Kurds control those oil fields and use the revenue for their own regional government.

But you see from recent events in Russia and the fact that ten IS pukes were caught on in the US shows that IS continues to be a danger to the rest of the world.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There's nothing hateful about it. It's past time to go home. Japan can look after itself. This will lead to a more prosperous Japan as the country and people can fully engage with its Asian neighbors without seeing everything through a military/security lens.

What a strange outlook. Until the administration of Xi Jinping Japan was looked upon less favorably than China by most Asian nations. Many Asian nations still distrusted Japan and saw the US presence there as a stabilizing influence that might prevent a return of a militaristic and hegemonic Japan like they remember.

It was the aggressive policies of Xi Jinping and not the least of which his claims to the Ryukyu Islands and not just the Senkaku group, along with his belligerent policies towards Philippines and Vietnam that have flipped the script. Now Japan is viewed by its neighbors as more trustworthy than Japan the nations of Asia look to the US and Japan for their security. Xi has done more than the Japanese to rehabilitate their image in Asia and abroad and have driven nations that once distrusted Japan to engage with her for their mutual protection and for an economic hedge against the Chinese.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Northern Syria is a hotbed of terrorism

You don't seem to realize that America is there stealing its oil. Or perhaps you do but don't want to admit it.

The oil fields US forces help protect are operated by the Kurdish regional administration. All of the revenue from oil sales go to the Kurds. The US doesn't get a penny of it. What is ironic is that the Kurds sell much of that oil to the Syrian government, the very government that seeks to run them out.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think it would be wiser for the supporters of US bases in Okinawa to keep quiet about the US presence in Syria. Russia is in Syria at the request of the Syrian government and both have been fighting IS.

The US, on the other hand, is in Syria against the will of the Syrian government. The US claims to fight IS. However, the US opposes the government of Syria. IS also opposes the government of Syria.

If US forces take ("protect" LOL) oil belonging to the Syrian government and give it to Kurds allied with the US... is this stealing or protecting? In the bigger picture, the revenues (which cannot really be tracked) are a minor issue. More important is that this all undermines the economy of Syria, which benefits the US which desires the overthrow of the Syrian government.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's really regrettable that the Tamaki bloc lost the election. Among the electorate it was not the base issues that concerned them most. It was economic issues that concerned them most this time around.

As for the U.S. base issue, the electorate must have thought that maintaining the status quo was necessary because of the assertive activities of China Coast Guard ships in the Senkaku waters.

In a way, China helped Tamaki's opposition, LDP cohorts, win this election.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Who’s been licking its lips to invade and occupy Okinawa? Commodore Mathew Perry, who pried open the closed doors of reclusive Japan in 1852, recommended his superiors in Washington that the U.S. occupy Okinawa and make it a bastion to advance to Asia. So, the U.S.'s scheme to occupy Okinawa is almost two centuries long.

Perry's recommendation was disregarded at the time because of a political turmoil in Washington, but was realized in full in 1945 when Imperial Japan lost World War II.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In this corner. Uncle Sam. And in this corner. Denny Tamaki.

I am sorry.

That is bad. This guy is toast. Over. The base will get built. Marines will do what they do. Move with a purpose. And more Japanese will be eating at a brand new Chili's. And buying Yankee Candles. Do not forget to grab a grilled cheese beef burrito from Taco bell be for you hit the main gate. Ji-chan loves Taco Bell.

I know, I know. So bad of me....sarcastic mood.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's really regrettable that the Tamaki bloc lost the election.

It's really regrettable what the Tamaki bloc have done to Okinawa. Another poster pointed out the economic woes of Okinawa and its continued last place in prefectural statics. Tamaki spends an enormous amount of money traveling around the world, tugging on world leader's coattail for attention. Meanwhile the schools, basic services and infrastructure languish and rot. It appears that some of the people are seeing past the constant barrage of propaganda from TV and newspapers about the evil military and the "burden" it causes. The Tamaki bloc has always been about staying in power no matter the cost to the Okinawa people. It started with Gov. Ota and has ramped up to fanatical levels when Onaga was gov and secured outside financing for the machine. Tamaki is just following in his predecessor's footsteps.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China promises to invest hundreds of billions into Okinawa's tourism infrastructure to turn it into Hawaii of Asia post independence.

The problem with being an island nation with no real viable economic drivers outside of tourism is that you’re only ever one recession away from economic collapse. Your entire economy is reliant on other people having enough disposable income to come visit.

Just look at the island nations of Polynesia: their economies were clobbered by the Great Recession, with some nations having their entire economies contract by over 25%. And before they even had a chance to recover, Covid-19 kneecapped them AGAIN.

With an economy that susceptible to the whims of the global economic tides, an independent Okinawa would require a larger nation to essentially become its benefactor: Okinawa would likely be forced to return to what it was the last time it was “independent” - a vassal of one of its larger neighbors.

You see this with island nations like Nauru, who are forced to play refugee camp for Australia in exchange for economic aid.

Now imagine Okinawa’s economy is hammered by the current or future economic crises that reduce tourism to unsustainable levels, and some nation comes along and says “Hey, we see your country is on the verge of financial collapse. We’d be happy to extend economic aid to you. All we ask is, in return, you maaaaybe allow us to station a few of our naval assets in your waters. Or maybe put up a naval refueling station. Or maybe let us conduct military drills on your soil now and then.”

Could Okinawa afford to say no? The answer is “Not likely”.

Okinawa’s situation is always going to be shaped by geography. Unless they figure out how to move the islands to somewhere less strategic, someone is always going to be trying to exert influence over them. That’s literally the entire history of Okinawa. Okinawa was never truly independent - it just kept trading one master for another.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Droll Quarry,

Tamaki's traveling abroad is mostly to Washington. He travels to Washington just as his predecessors have done to appeal to reduce this huge U.S. military footprint somehow. Spending money for such a purpose is unnecessary for governors in other prefectures. Okinawa even has a liaison office in Wahington, a sheer extra for other prefectures.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is also a section, unnecessary for other no U.S. base-hosting prefectures, under the Governor's executive office that exclusively deals with U.S. base-derived problems that consume an enormous amount of money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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