LDP, opposition parties disagree on elections’ impact
The local Liberal Democratic Party and its opposition are many kilometers apart on how Sunday’s local assembly elections will sway voters in the months and elections ahead.
Anti-administration parties think their position is stronger now that Nago City anti-base relocation assembly held on to its majority, but the LDP says “not so fast”. The LDP Okinawa’s secretary-general, Moriyuki Teruya, says “The ruling parties, except for Nago City, kept a majority in all elections. The result expresses that our policy and performance were evaluated positively in each area.” He believes that the result would not directly have an effect on the gubernatorial race in Okinawa, saying the citizens’ voices have strengthened the relocation project. Teruya points out the gain of a conservative pro-base relocation seat in Nago City.
Taiga Teruya, the secretary-general of the Social Democratic Party of Okinawa, disagrees, stressing from his perspective that the will of Nago citizens was again reflected. “There are election winners at various locations, who are stronger winners and walk together. We got a positive response toward the gubernatorial election.”
Kenji Tsurubuchi, the vice-chairman of the Japanese Communist Party of Okinawa, was pleased “we won a seat in Higashi Village for the first time, and made a leap forward. The result shows the anger at the Abe Administration and Governor Nakaima. The new Governor of Okinawa has been anticipated to achieve the petition that we took to Prime Minister Abe in January 2013.”
Tsutomu Kinjo, the secretary-general of the ruling party, New Komeito of Okinawa, thinks the government and LDP could be in trouble. “The popular will of the people objecting MCAS Futenma relocation was reflected in the assembly election that was followed by the last city mayoral election. The Okinawa Prefectural Government and Japanese Government should face seriously the people’s will that it is difficult to accept the relocation plan.”
Morio Toma, the acting leader of Political Group of Okinawa Revolution, pointed out “The result of a decrease –in the number of base relocation opponents– of one seat in Nago City has a large negative effect on the ruling parties. Eligible voters made the decision not only because of the base issue.”
Katsutoshi Toyama, the secretary-general of Okinawa Social Masses Party, was relieved. “We are relieved to retain the majority in Nago City Assembly, however, on the whole of Okinawa, it still seems hard. We want to build a coalition of All Okinawa towards the gubernatorial election.”
Tadashi Uezato, the secretary-general of The Democratic Party of Japan of Okinawa, stated, “The opposition will of people in Okinawa has been consistent since the Nago City mayoral election in 2010. The result will be contributory to increase people’s support for the gubernatorial race.”
Masato Nakamura, the secretary-general of Japan Restoration Party of Okinawa, says, “The action of parental care and education environmental improvement was thoroughly evaluated. As a consequence, we kept a seat, and got a boost for the gubernatorial race.”
Shoichi Taira, the chief of the secretariat of People’s Life Party of Okinawa, says, “We should reflect on the loss of a seat of our official party candidate, but our supporters won, including in Nago City. The result will be followed by the gubernatorial election. We appreciate this result.”