politics

Newcomer defeats anti-U.S. base incumbent in Nago mayoral race

55 Comments

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

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

55 Comments
Login to comment

I think I can say that there is concern about having heavy lift helicopters flying around anywhere

(my home in Florida is in the DIRECT Flight Path to a major Naval Air Facility not five nautical miles away along the coast), but to believe that these bases can simply CLOSE UP, and move them off Okinawa is ridiculous.

The constant harrassment from chinese Naval Vessels as well as Aircraft is obvious. They need to stay SOMEWHERE on the island.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

I have read up on the first sentence and got fed up already. So much corruption, can keep going on it until the next **31, I guess.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Good! The ball has been rolling against Onaga for some time now, and these elections are proof that folks are tired of his and his followers one issue stance.

One down, one more to go!

5 ( +15 / -10 )

It will be a shame to see Nagos, such a beautiful town destroyed by the USMC. I don't think it really matters where the marines are. Their only combat unit station in Okinawa is in Okinawa for less than 6 months a year.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

As with many issues, a vocal minority will be defeated by the majority - even if it is a silent majority. Or a majority that have jobs that need to be done and don't have the leisure time available to them to run around waving their arms in the air over everything that they dislike.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Newcomer defeats anti-U.S. base incumbent in Nago mayoral race

Because nearly everyone is tired of the BS

2 ( +12 / -10 )

I have read up on the first sentence and got fed up already. So much corruption, can keep going on it until the next **31, I guess.

Provide some proof before you slander the democratic process.. Nago residents have chosen.

People in Nago have been divided over the issue, with some tired of the continuing clashes between the central and local governments, which have left the issue stalled.

Experts say Toguchi's win reflects voters' high expectations for measures to prop up the local economy and does not necessarily suggest that more Nago residents are willing to accept the base transfer.

I've been saying it until I was blue in the face and it's one of my biggest frustrations of how the average Okinawan is painted by the media. The base issues are not center stage in people's lives here and not the very high on their priorities. People want improvements in education and economic opportunities. This is why the All Okinawa group that is such a farce that only cares about one issue has been losing nearly every mayoral election and will lose the gubernatorial election.

Congratulations and good luck Toguchi-san. Please follow through on your promises to improve the daily lives and educational as well as economic opportunities of Nago residents.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Good to hear Onaga is on his way out too.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Please follow through on your promises to improve the daily lives and educational as well as economic opportunities of Nago residents.

I wouldn't count on a Japanese politician backed by Abe to keep his promises.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

It will be a shame to see Nagos, such a beautiful town destroyed by the USMC. I don't think it really matters where the marines are. Their only combat unit station in Okinawa is in Okinawa for less than 6 months a year.

You know nothing of the CITY of Nago, the base has been at Henoko for decades, and the extension is going to go a far way in making things better for everyone down south, and in the Nago area as well, with the influx of money and investment.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I've been saying it until I was blue in the face and it's one of my biggest frustrations of how the average Okinawan is painted by the media. The base issues are not center stage in people's lives here and not the very high on their priorities. People want improvements in education and economic opportunities. This is why the All Okinawa group that is such a farce that only cares about one issue has been losing nearly every mayoral election and will lose the gubernatorial election.

Quite so! The media tried it's best to influence this election with it's constant anti-base stories, but they got burned again too! They were harping nearly all week about helicopters from the US military flying around over their heads!

Funny thing, the media never once makes a comment about the JSDF helicopters that literally fly over Japanese ES/JHS or HS's here daily.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

It proved the bases are not all bad things for Okinawa. A realistic choice.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I wouldn't count on a Japanese politician backed by Abe to keep his promises.

In Okinawa, the Abe backed politicians have been leaps and bounds better than Onaga and his picks.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

At this stage sure looks like good news to me.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Congratulations!!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Yubaru

is that true that the JSDF fly over the schools?

if so I’m shocked at this

had no idea.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

is that true that the JSDF fly over the schools? if so I’m shocked at this

Yeah, their flight patterns take them over schools on their way between Naha AP and flying over the east side of the island. I see it almost daily.

While they are not taking off and landing in the proximity of said schools, they most certainly do fly over them, and no one says a thing!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

It seems like 80% and so are above 50 years on that picture! There you have the core-voters for LDP-party.

Young ones don’t care that much about election. Only retired and old people who’ve grown up with LDP in power, have the time and energy to vote in these elections. Get the younger generation to realize that their democratic is not something to be tossed away!

Democracy is not something that you should take for granted!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Whenever you're electing a long term politician you must remember that there are Two distinct agendas... pre-election lies to get elected and post election favors distributed to deep pocketed supporters. In general career politicians are slime with very few actually having a vision past self fulfillment, greed and power. Okinawan's probably figured out that the "anti-base" politicians could care less and just used the issue to get elected. Damn... I'm a cynic.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Dumplings rather than flowers." This is what happened in Nago's mayoral election. But the voters must know the sweets are laced with poison.

Nago citizens chose Toguchi over Inamine believing Toguchi would help bring an end to the economic doldrums of the city through lavish aids promised by the LDP government. Shops on the city's traditional main streets are being closed down one by one because fewer and fewer customers come there to shop and entertain themselves. Why?

Customers are attracted to huge chopping centers with spacy parking lots in the suburbs, thus evading traditional mom-and-pop stores in the old section of the city. This is a universal phenomenon observed anywhere in Okinawa or maybe all over in Japan. Would Toguchi reverse this trend and rejuvenate the economy of the city's old section?

Would hosting a new expanded base at Henoko bring an end to the economic doldrums? I don't think so. The money and aids relevant to the Henoko relocation is nothing but easy money not earned through hard, diligent labor and so would dissipate instantly like bubbles. Let's wait and see.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

I thought Okinawan's hated the US military presence. Guess not

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Guess after all that anti base talk people finally realized it was just talk.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

re: It will be a shame to see Nagos, such a beautiful town destroyed by the USMC.

Really, hmm seems that you haven't seen the mountain that used to be there on the northern corner of Nago that used to be  a beautiful sight from the ground or air. Now because of massive building and empty resorts has nothing to do with the bases, where instead you have a rubble of a mountain as it was razed and destroyed. The USMC had nothing to do with that so talk to your outgoing elected and governor who after making money from the bases turned tail and then ripped your lands.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Good to hear, now the Marines can get on with their job without so much hostility

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Good news. Now, if Abe has any sense he will work with Toguchi to make sure the economic picture improves in Nago. Genuine improvement. But the Americans also need to get their act together. The number of incidents lately is far too high.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Shops on the city's traditional main streets are being closed down one by one because fewer and fewer customers come there to shop and entertain themselves. Why? Customers are attracted to huge chopping centers with spacy parking lots in the suburbs, thus evading traditional mom-and-pop stores in the old section of the city. This is a universal phenomenon observed anywhere in Okinawa or maybe all over in Japan. Would Toguchi reverse this trend and rejuvenate the economy of the city's old section?

You really are living in a bubble. Ever hear of progress? Those shops were closing decades ago. You long for an era that hopefully will never return. Those shops are guilty of their own fate because they were over-priced and they lost out because of it.

You expect people to have to pay more? You really are arrogant about the intelligence of the people here. Those folks and businesses in the old section of the city are responsible for their own fates as well, and guess what, very few are willing to give up their little plot of land for the possibility of creating something better for everyone. So wallow in your ignorance, but don't think it's up to the new Mayor to provide assistance to people who are unwilling to help themselves!

You talk about suburbs in Nago?

Since you brought this up, you had better learn to get your feet out of your mouth here! If those shopping centers are suburbs then where is Henoko, in relation to Nago and it's suburbs?

You play on people being ignorant to believe everything you write, but you have gone too far in your descriptions of the reasons why the election was won by the "right" candidate.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Really, hmm seems that you haven't seen the mountain that used to be there on the northern corner of Nago that used to be a beautiful sight from the ground or air. 

I agree, the location is on the Motobu Peninsula and is at the entrance to Nago Bay, they are cutting the mountain down for gravel and stone, and it's a serious eye sore, so much like strip mining.

They COULD have done it from the other side.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good. Proof that the people are not accepting of an old man with ONE issue in mind, that clearly the majority do not accept. Should be a message to Onaga, but it won't be. That said, there is one disturbing nugget in there:

"Experts say Toguchi's win reflects voters' high expectations for measures to prop up the local economy and does not necessarily suggest that more Nago residents are willing to accept the base transfer."

I sure hope that this is not like the anti-US base people in other parts of Okinawa, who enjoy the money for hosting but don't want to do the work, choosing instead to poop where they eat.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

and the people on here who have been on here for years claiming that all Okinawa people want the bases out and even want to form an independent country are no where to be found.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

voiceofokinawa: "This is a universal phenomenon observed anywhere in Okinawa or maybe all over in Japan."

You're right, but you're also wrong in insinuating that the change is for the better. A couple of cases in point, since you bring it up: Japan's whaling program -- a major loss of money for a product no one wants, but the few old people that depend on it are defensive and demand (and get) handouts. Agriculture in Japan in general: they can't be competitive, can't keep up, and can't produce enough for the country, so they demand tariffs and protection, and we pay 10 times what other nations do for DOMESTIC produce. As Yubaru said, these shops are going under because they could not progress, and it is their own fault.

In any case, that's a moot point -- your boy lost, and he lost because he was ONLY focussed on the base issue, and the majority of people are not.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

 Let's wait and see. yes lets do, seems like after all the BS thats gone on over the last two decades the base will be moved after all, and within Okinawa

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Inamine is either truly incompetent or there's been some pretty nifty electoral fraud going on.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru,

You really are living in a bubble. Ever hear of progress? Those shops were closing decades ago. You long for an era that hopefully will never return. Those shops are guilty of their own fate because they were over-priced and they lost out because of it.

It's these mom-and-pop store owners who feel pinched with operations and so it's these people who form the core elements of Toguchi's supporters. How would Toguchi respond to their expectation? Would the Henoko relocation be the answer? NEVER!

What's your remedy to rejuvenate Nago's so-called doldrums economy?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Inamine is either truly incompetent or there's been some pretty nifty electoral fraud going on.

Really? Then I guess he IS incompetent as local elections all over the island have been going against candidates that are aligned with Onaga.

I've said it all along, Onaga is a ONE ISSUE politician, and he is paying for it with his inability to think beyond the base issues, one more of his followers is gone.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Show how Abe's government can rig an election.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Ultimately... I think this shows that overall the "Base" issue probably takes a backseat to other issues in Okinawa. Far too often Politicians will use "smoke screen" issues to mask what they're really trying to do. And what they're really trying to do is sell Okinawa off to the highest bidder and graft all they can in the process... all the while they cry about the "Bases". Yes... absolutely, and crime by a U.S. Military member is terrible, unwanted and should not happen. But these Okinawan politicians are using these issues to sell Okinawa out from under the local population. Never trust a career politician.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The irony that the people who did not like Abe suddenly became staunch Abe supporter when it comes to Okinawa

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A sudden outbreak of common sense?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Improve the local economy by polluting the land, destroying the beautiful sea, introducing noice pollution, increasing violence and rape, scaring local people, increasing rent of poor local people, destroying tourism...sounds like a good idea. Not to mention plane crashes, helicopter crashes and missiles from NK after winter.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Inamine really didn't do himself any favours by focusing entirely on the US Base issue. Okinawans must be getting sick of hearing about it all the time, and chose to support a guy who's looking to help rejuvinate the Okinawan economy. A person pledging a positive change will always seem more appealing than someone constantly complaining.

Onaga won't stay in office for long either.

Onaga has resorted to various measures, including legal actions, to stop the central government from transferring the Futenma base from a crowded residential area of Ginowan to the less populated Henoko coastal area of Nago.

And that's why. He complains every time there's an incident in a crowded area, but he keeps stopping the base from transferring away from the crowded residential area. He's shooting himself in the foot with that logic. The people are going to see this, and they're going to tell him to take a hike.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Show how Abe's government can rig an election.

This is an insult to the people of Nago and the democratic process. They voted for their Mayor and just because you do not agree with the majority of voters doesn't mean you have the right to call it rigged.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Inamine is either truly incompetent or there's been some pretty nifty electoral fraud going on.

if it is possible to hack bitcoins then it can’t be too hard to hack a local election.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I've posted this before but it bears repeating:

The solution is to build an artificial island NEAR Okinawa and move the entire armed forces there. Japan will have the best of both worlds :- US Forces for security & Okinawans can live in peace.

If Kansai Airport could be built using 80's technology, I don't see why an artificial island cannot be build for the Americans near Okinawa

Heck, to save cost and rather than build an artificial island, why not just develop Aguni island or Kumejima island and make either of those into a new base for the US Armed Forces? Kumejima already has a fully functional aircraft runway.

And for those asking:

Why does Japan have to build it for Americans?

ANSWER: To provide business for Japanese companies and to boost employment rates of Japanese graduates. Developing an entire island will provide a myriad of jobs not just for those in the construction industries but also for farmers who will provide food for the servicemen. Not to mention the blue collar workers needed to drive trucks and construction equipment.

Japanese transport industries will also flourish because ships, trucks, planes, etc will be needed to ferry people and equipment to the artificial islands from Okinawa.

There will also be a need for more university researchers and research assistants to study the best way to develop the soil and foundations for the artificial islands. Ergo, the new artificial island will lead to an increase in academic development and student intake --- increase in funding for schools and universities.

Everyone wins.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Show how Abe's government can rig an election. No just shows many Okinawans arnt filled with hatred against the marines, there fixed it for you.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't think the Okinawans necessary hate Americans or US Troops, I think it because they do not like how their being treated by both Americans and Japanese. If this is absolutely necessary then I think its time for the marines to provide a more compelling reason, other then we won the war and the land was bought for and paid for with American blood. If this is the case then whats move the us military to mainland Japan, were we should have been in the first place.

Most Americans seem to forgot that they never wanted us here in the first place. The only reason this base is being built is because their being bullied into it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A large part of the resistance was protecting the last healthy coral reef on the main island of Okinawa and also the habitat for the dugongs. Now that they have been breaking the reef with concrete blocks and chasing off the dugong there’s not much left to fight for. The school bully has already spit in the sandwich the choice here was to eat it or starve.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think it because they do not like how their being treated by both Americans and Japanese.

If they thought they were being mistreated by the Japanese and Americans than why didn't they re-elect Inamine?

If this is absolutely necessary then I think its time for the marines to provide a more compelling reason, other then we won the war and the land was bought for and paid for with American blood. If this is the case then whats move the us military to mainland Japan, were we should have been in the first place

They've given their strategic reasoning several times but it's ignored by people who don't want them there and supported by people who do want them there. This election goes to show that it's not as biased in Okianwa as some people would like to believe.

Here is a link that underlines several reasons the US and Japanese Government believe in Okinawa being a vital area to station the Marines https://www.heritage.org/asia/report/top-10-reasons-why-the-us-marines-okinawa-are-essential-peace-and-security-the-pacific

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

smithinjapan Today 11:29 am JST,

You're right, but you're also wrong in insinuating that the change is for the better.

I'm not suggesting the locus of business activities be relocated back again from the suburbs to the old city center. If there's anything that I seem to suggest, it is this: that the trend of business activities won’t be reversed any longer. You know it is no use crying over spilt milk.

The rest of your post about the whaling issue is beside the point here, and so I won't comment on it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Now that they have been breaking the reef with concrete blocks and chasing off the dugong there’s not much left to fight for. The school bully has already spit in the sandwich the choice here was to eat it or starve.

You've probably only read about Okinawa and not actually have set foot here. A confirmed dugong sighting has not been spotted Oura Bay in years. Yes it's a habitat that is capable of supporting the dugong but it was rarely used. This is not the last healthy coral reef, it has been experiencing the same issues and has the same health status as the other reefs surrounding the island. For political purposes, some environmental groups have been twisting the facts. The same coral reef rushing is actually happening about 60km to the southwest at Naha International Airport. As for pollution, coral death has been more prevalent where construction for seaside resorts and farm irrigation systems have led to lots of red clay runoff which is a deadly for coral.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

wtfjapan: Feb. 5| 11:37 am JST,

**Let's wait and see. yes** lets do, seems like after all the BS thats gone on over the last two decades the base will be moved after all, and within Okinawa

Yeah, let's wait and see how this relocation issue will revolve. The U.S.-sycophantic Abe-government may forge ahead with relocation work only to please Washington. But, you know, there's no legal and strategic reason why the function of the marine base must be maintained in Okinawa..

This shenanigan must be checked by all means.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CrucialS- The heritage organization is a right wing hate group think tank motivated by racial animosities towards certain groups of people. Maybe you should read this instead, www.g2mil.com/okinawa-solution.htm, please take notice the person who part these ideas together actually served as a marine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Amusing but not surprising the salivating anti-Japan posters here are calling this election rigged, like a seasoned Trump supporter might do. We need to question what this ilk brings to Japan and reevaluate their temporary stay here

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A large part of the resistance was protecting the last healthy coral reef on the main island of Okinawa and also the habitat for the dugongs. Now that they have been breaking the reef with concrete blocks and chasing off the dugong there’s not much left to fight for. The school bully has already spit in the sandwich the choice here was to eat it or starve.

Oh hell not this argument again! How righteous folks get about this. No one, absolutely no one cared one bit about the dugong or even knew they existed. Then they became the poster-child for the environmentalists who made it so after one sighting of a pair swimming through the area, years and years ago.

Next the righteous complaints about the coral, geez there is another coral reef that IS being destroyed, in another location, but no one cares, and your assumption that "last healthy coral reef" is bs as the other one being destroyed was healthy too, no one said or is saying a word about it either. Naha Airport's 2nd runway construction is doing the exact same thing! Where is your indignation and protests?

Oh, what about pointing a finger at all the Japanese construction companies that caused all the coral to die in the first place with the red soil runoff due to construction by JAPANESE companies, and nothing to do with the military?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm not suggesting the locus of business activities be relocated back again from the suburbs to the old city center. 

Folks this is a clever attempt to get you to believe something that is not true. There are no suburbs in Okinawa.

Google Nago City, hit street view and see for yourself.

Also the suggestions or inferences made are WAY off the mark too. The people who run or ran those businesses did quite well when they were the only game in town. They lost because they refused to adapt to competition. They lost to better business minded people.

The nostalgic meanderings of someone who lives in a different era and not in the 21st century should be dismissed as just that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yubaru, if the Okinawa government is really concerned on the welfare of the dugong, I suggest they tag it so they can document its grazing grounds and range of its habitat. Has anyone seen the dugong lately?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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