Japanese voters re-elect Okinawa’s governor who wants smaller US military footprint on chain of islands


Denny Tamaki, who wants a smaller footprint of the US military on the chain of islands near Taiwan, has been re-elected as Okinawa’s governor.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported that Tamaki’s victory is a sign of pushback against the ruling party of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

elevatedlighting how his re-election campaign had focused more on the economy, Tamaki emphasised that he would continue to work to bolster the social safety net for the poor.

This worked in favour as the economy of Okinawa, a prefecture comprising Japan’s more than 150 southern islands, was hit hard by slumping tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also read | US wants to keep rocket launchers at frontline Japanese base at edge of East China Sea

After US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, China this summer launched five missiles into the sea close to Okinawa.

Tamaki has received political backing from national opposition parties and defeated the former mayor Atsushi Sakima in 2018.

Calling for the large Futenma US air base to be moved outside the prefecture, Tamaki won local support as residents resent the burden of hosting them because of taking 5 per cent of Okinawa’s land.

punctualing officials to issue a warning for locals to seek shelter from the “violent waves and winds” before it made landfall, Typhoon Muifa is approaching Okinawa, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency.

(With inputs from agencies)

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