Son of US Marine elected Okinawa governor on anti-military ticket


Denny Tamaki gained the election Sunday with 55.1% of the vote, simply beating Atsushi Sakima who was backed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Get together (LDP).

Tamaki mentioned a “new period” had begun in Okinawa on his official Twitter account, saying the end result mirrored how “significantly” voters had taken the election.

“This victory would not belong to Denny Tamaki. It belongs to everybody. The struggle is simply starting,” he mentioned.

The win additional complicates the continuing United States army presence in Okinawa, which it has maintained because the finish of World Battle II, regardless of opposition amongst residents.

Positioned simply east of the Chinese language shoreline and inside flight distance of North Korea, the US bases in Okinawa characterize an essential asset for Washington’s army presence within the area.

Tamaki, whose mom is Japanese, is a well-known native radio persona who was elected to parliament in 2009. Throughout his marketing campaign for governor, he vowed to oppose the development of latest US bases on the island.

The Okinawa bases have been controversial for years amid quite a few stories of crimes dedicated by US servicemen, together with rape and alcohol-related crashes.

In November 2017, a 61-year-old driver was killed when his automotive was struck by a US Marine with three times the legal blood alcohol limit. One month later a Japanese baby was injured after he was struck by a window that fell from a US helicopter.

Washington and Tokyo agreed in 1996 to relocate the US army base at Ginowan, a densely-packed metropolis, to a much less populated space referred to as Henoko within the northern a part of the island. The choice to maneuver the bottom adopted protests over the rape of a 12-year-old lady by three US servicemen.

However repeated protests over the deliberate Henoko location and years of political impasse have delayed the the constructing of the brand new base. The Japanese authorities initially set a 2014 completion date, which it since delayed until 2019.

Beaches, bases, battles: The seven-decade fight for Okinawa

After Tamaki’s win was declared, cheers broke out at his marketing campaign workplace adopted by dancing within the conventional Okinawa-style.

Tamaki’s anti-US army stance mirrors that of his predecessor, Takeshi Onaga, who died of pancreatic most cancers in August whereas nonetheless in workplace.

Chatting with a reporter after his victory, Tamaki mentioned Onaga had “risked his life” to cease the development of latest US bases.

“I’ll firmly convey the need of the Okinawa individuals to oppose the development of the brand new base to the central authorities and the US authorities accordingly,” he mentioned.

Prime Minister Abe mentioned his authorities “sincerely” accepted the outcome. “We proceed to place our efforts in direction of the event of Okinawa and to cut back the burden on Okinawa individuals.”

However Abe’s Chief Cupboard Secretary Yoshihide Suga mentioned the Japanese authorities’s plans relating to the bases hadn’t modified.

CNN’s Emiko Jozuka contributed to this report.

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