Monday, November 20, 2006

The LDP Candidate Wins in Okinawa: My Immediate Thoughts

In the Okinawa gubernatorial election, the LDP candidate pulled through with a not uncomfortable 53-47 edge.. The Governor-elect, Hirokazu Nakaima's 24-year-old daughter, who accompanied him throughout his campaign, is considered to have been crucial to his electoral success.

Don't read too much into this in terms of national electoral trends
though. Okinawa is Okinawa, and the DPJ candidate won with a similar margin in the much-less heralded Fukuoka race for mayor. The city of Fukuoka has a larger population than Okinawa Prefecture.

The results of the Okinawa race are much more favorable (than the alternative) for Prime Minister Abe to cut domestic deals on US (and Japanese) troops realignment. That could be an important factor for Mr. Abe in 2009 when he hopes to be seeking a second three-year term.

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