campaigns of the Okinawa gubernatorial
election have ushered in the final stage, expecting the balloting day,
September 30. The election is held after the early-August death of Former Governor
Onaga Takeshi. The top catchphrase of the Candidate Tamaki Denny’s camp, the
All-Okinawa, is to stop the on-going construction of a new military base at
Henoko, a northern region of the island. The campaign agents earnestly work to
win in the election. Let’s make Tamaki be Governor.
DENNY MUST TRIUMPH!
Tamaki Denny (58, former member of the House of Representatives, Chief
Secretary of the Liberal Party), from the All-Okinawa group, announced his
policy September 10. It was three days before the date to begin official election
campaigns, September 13. He emphasized ‘Dignified, rich Okinawa,
A New Era of Okinawa’.
be liberated from yokes of military bases
Tamaki demands in the election program ‘Closure, Removal and Refusal of intra-Okinawa
Transfer of the Futenma Air Field’. That is the key policy of his New Era of
Okinawa. Clearly rejecting the on-going construction job of new base at Henoko,
he pledges to take every step possible to discontinue it. He explains about his
Okinawa development plan which combines with a
closure of the base of Futenma and abandonment of the construction work at
Henoko. That is quite unique.
candidate proposes to implement a World Convention for Exchanges project, by
which Okinawa may become a center to promote international economic and
cultural relationships and to reside an International Rescue
Center for Natural
Disasters. He is ready to set a Ryukyu History and Culture Day and to create a
Fund for Protection of Yambaru Forests and Water for Life. The initiatives
represent Okinawa’s characteristics.
calls for freedom from yokes imposed by the governments of the United States and Japan:
it is liberation from a reality that Okinawa is
found inside the military bases. Candidate Tamaki claims to revise the US-Japan
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), requesting the government of Japan to rightly exercise the sovereign right
for the sake of Okinawa’s land, air and sea domains.
of 1 trillion Yen
Tamaki offers many kinds of education assistance for students and children: providing
a free-of-charge bus ticket with junior high and high school students, setting
up after-school care centers for schoolboys and schoolgirls and creating a
comprehensive childcare program for youngsters. He emphasizes three No!
policies – (1) the new military base at Henoko and deployment of aircraft Osprey,
No!, (2) unfair disparity from other prefectures, No!, and, (3) construction of
a nuclear power plant, No!. He campaigns so that inhabitants may agree to these
these years, the economic growth rate of Okinawa Prefecture
has been steadily rising as well as incomes of residents. The population has
increased by 100 thousand and the gross income has grown up by 3% yearly for
three years. Per capita incomes per annum of the residents have been soared by as
much as 140 thousand Yen.
Japanese governments and some residents in the main islands used to claim that
the economy of Okinawa depends on the US military presence. In fact,
however, the prefectural authority calculates a loss of 1 trillion Yen which comes
from the US
mission, which impacts on the economy. The military actually damages the
economy and ruins people’s life.
rival Candidate Sakima Atsushi, fielded by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party
and the Komei as well as the Ishin, does not touch upon the construction work
of a base at Henoko. He tries to conceal the focal point, talking about in vain
revision of the SOFA and relocation of the US Marines to other prefectures or foreign
countries. Clearly he misleads the electorate. He is apparently telling lies.
He does not deserve to be Governor.
Tamaki is a person who opens a new path of Okinawa; inheriting the policies of
ex-Governor Onaga, he will protect the Islands’ natural environment and
encourage culture and history of Okinawa to be
assembly elections were held in the Nago
City on September 9. The
result shows that the ruling bloc advocating the new base could not win the
majority, but the numbers of pros and cons were equal. We must watch the governorship
election cautiously and strictly. It is a common struggle between people of the
main islands and of Okinawa – that is, to terminate the Abe government.