Onaga wins Okinawan election
LDP member and former Naha mayor Takeshi Onaga won the election here yesterday and becomes the new Governor of Okinawa. Onaga is an anti-base campaigner who is committed to stopping the construction of the new American military base at Henoko. In the end his victory over the incumbent Governor Nakaima, who came second, was resounding. Onaga gathered more than 360,000 votes which gave him a runaway victory with more votes than all the other candidates combined.
The election went beyond matters of political ideology and was more to do with the struggle for Okinawan identity. Onaga was supported by parties of both the left and right in his anti-base stance. The election result is another blow to the Japanese government whose immediate response nevertheless was to say that they had expected this result, nothing has changed, and that they still fully intend to go ahead with the Henoko base plan. Interesting times are ahead.
Singer and musician Shoukichi Kina, who is also opposed to the bases, came last of the four candidates with a meagre total of 7,821 votes. On Aguni Island he gained just 5 votes and on Kita Daito Island only one voter went out on a limb to vote for him. Kina’s response was to point out the lack of time he had to prepare plus the fact that no political party, business organisation or union gave him any support. Perhaps he will now concentrate on music but what he does next is anyone’s guess.