Sunday, February 9, 2014

(OT) Yoichi Masuzoe Is the New Governor of Tokyo, Thanks to Organized Votes from LDP and Komei/Soka Gakkai; Turnout 3rd Lowest in History

He should also be grateful for the Japan's mainstream media, from increasingly government-PR organ NHK to left-leaning Asahi Shinbun, for not reporting the various scandals that everyone in the media and the political class knew about during the election campaign and for their genuine, heart-felt effort to de-emphasize any nuclear issue to the point of not even showing the faces of the two former prime ministers as they campaigned on the anti-nuclear platform.

Looking at Asahi's site, it doesn't look like the paper will ever report Masuzoe's scandal, although suddenly the anti-nuclear movement is prominently mentioned.

From Asahi's Tokyo Gubernatorial Election page "Who is Mr. Masuzoe?", Masuzoe's prominent remarks as Asahi sees:

"LDP's draft constitution is too right-wing to receive broad support"

"Without redistribution, the gap [between the rich and the poor] will widen"

"What was Koizumi's postal reform?"

"Atomic Energy Agreement [to export nuclear power plant technologies] is OK"

"How does one spend first six years after retirement"

etc., etc., as if Masuzoe is a reasonable statesman.

Asahi, or for that matter, any Japanese mainstream media news outlet, never reported what the foreign press reported, and will never report, now that Masuzoe is installed as the governor, doing the Abe administration's bidding.

One of the most prominent remarks by Masuzoe appeared in UK's The Guardian and other foreign news outlets quoting AFP (2/7/2014):

In 1989, he told a men's magazine that it would not be proper to have women at the highest level of government because their menstrual cycle makes them irrational.

"Women are not normal when they are having a period … You can't possibly let them make critical decisions about the country [during their period] such as whether or not to go to war," he said.

For him to say so must be extremely distressful for one of his ex-wives, Ms. Satsuki Katayama, an LDP politician whose own party supported her ex-husband's candidacy. She reportedly suffered domestic violence during their short marriage, which she once described to a Japanese magazine as "simply terrifying".

Too much testosterone, or too many girlfriends, we don't know.

With the low turnout (46.14% including absentee ballots), there was not much at all that other candidates could do to counter the LDP/Komei/labor union votes, particularly those of Komei/Soka Gakkai (religious organization that founded Komei Party).

The most realistic anti-nuclear candidate was former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, but he and his supporters were bombarded with "negative" campaigns on the net (particularly social media) by the supporters of another supposedly anti-nuclear candidate, Kenji Utsunomiya, attorney who was backed by Social Democratic Party and Communist Party.

I put "negative" in quotation marks, as tweets I have seen almost always started with "positive" remarks about Hosokawa's candidacy: "It's great that he is running on the "beyond nuclear" platform, blah blah blah, BUT..."

Curiously, the words and sentences after this "BUT" were almost identical to what the Abe administration officials, right-wing think tanks supporting the administration, and mainstream media kept saying throughout the election campaign:

"BUT the governorship of Tokyo is so much more than just a "single issue" of beyond nuclear. There's public welfare, there's unemployment, there's support for working mothers and young people, there's TPP, there's Tokyo Olympic..."

The supporters of Mr. Utsunomiya say they will continue their long struggle toward a nuclear-free society, with the emphasis on "long".

What Hosokawa and Koizumi preached - immediate decision not to use nuclear energy any more - was too "soon", apparently.

As to whether Mr. Masuzoe can keep his governorship, probably. LDP holds 59 seats and Komei 23 in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. Together, they control 82 seats, or 65% of the total 127 seats in the Assembly. LDP and Komei will make sure Masuzoe's scandals remain non-issues, as long as Masuzoe does not deviate from their agendas.


wren said...

Sad, sad, sad.

Hikarius said...

Even if Utsunomiya were elected (which is impossible as he does not have the political charisma to win votes from independent and conservative voters), I cannot see he would ever be politically sophisticated or determined enough to bring any change. A repeat of Ryokichi Minobe, or Yukio Aoshima at best.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Minobe, professor of Marxist history was what I kept thinking of. Terrible years. But Utsunomiya and his supporters must be very happy now because so-called "beyond nuclear" movement remain in their hands (i.e. liberal/progressive/Communist) and not shared by independents and conservatives whom they always call "right wing".

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