NAHA, Okinawa: Citing exit polls, public broadcaster NHK and different media shops have declared Denny Tamaki re-elected as governor of Japan’s Okinawa prefecture.
Tamaki, an unbiased candidate, stated he’ll search a smaller U.S. navy footprint on the chain of islands close to Taiwan.
Supported by a coalition of opposition events, Tamaki’s re-election is an indication of pushback in opposition to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which has been hit by a scandal over its ties to the Unification Church, which critics name a cult.
Close to Taiwan, Okinawa is on the forefront of rising stress within the area.
During navy workouts after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its personal, China launched 5 missiles into the ocean near Okinawa and inside Japan’s unique financial zone.
The son of a U.S. Marine and a Japanese mom, Tamaki campaigned in opposition to U.S. navy bases after he was first elected governor 4 years in the past, however he’s focusing extra on the financial system after Okinawa’s tourism business was broken by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have not wavered one millimeter, nor will I, in my efforts to resolve the base issue and I will continue to share my thoughts with the people of the prefecture and seek a solution from the government,” he stated.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s approval rankings plunged after revelations in regards to the hyperlinks
between quite a lot of its lawmakers and the Unification Church.
Kishida apologized for his celebration’s ties to the church and vowed to win again public belief, however a deliberate state funeral for slain former premier Shinzo Abe, who delivered a speech at an occasion hosted by a church affiliate final yr, has fanned the backlash.
“The governor’s re-election was expected, but the issues at stake were not only bases,” stated Hiroshi Shiratori, a professor of political science at Hosei University in Tokyo, as reported by Reuters.
Abe’s funeral and the Unification Church scandal performed a job, he added.