Translation - English Despite criticism from media Tokyo Governor plans to run for re-election
Despite accusations of nepotism and misappropriating public funds, Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro plans to run in the August Tokyo gubernatorial election. Ishihara, a right wing politician known for his critical remarks directed at China is the current front runner. Though Ishihara and Democratic Party rival candidate Asano Shiro have each announced they will run as independents, both Ishihara, whose son is the Chief Secretary for the Liberal Democratic Party, is unofficially supported by the LDP as is Asano by the Democratic Party. This has seen the current gubernatorial race take on an aspect of war by proxy for both the LDP and the Democratic Party. Political analyst, Ito Atsuo remarks that this is an extremely important election for the Democratic Party, one that they see as a vital stepping stone to the House of Councilors election. Along with a rapidly declining approval rating, the outcome of this election may prove to be an indication of things to come for Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.
Since his inauguration 8 years ago Ishihara has gained popularity by displaying strong leadership through his promotion of policies such as the regulation of gas emissions from diesel-powered vehicles. This type of strong leadership has become essential in the Japanese political arena ever since former charismatic Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro appeared on the scene. Ito further remarks that, “Ever since Koizumi came into the limelight the voting Japanese public has grown accustomed to politicians with a certain amount of flare.” An example of this can be seen when Ishihara’s plans for the hosting the Olympics in Tokyo were made public, boosting his popularity among advocates of Tokyo’s bid to host the Olympics.
However, the office of the governor has seen its fair share of controversy as well. Ishihara has been criticized for using public funds to take his wife on extravagant trips, appointing his son as project advisor for municipal projects and wastefully investing public funds in municipally owned banks. This contrasts Asano’s reputation as a reformer, which will surely appeal to the liberally minded voters of Tokyo.
The tendency of voters in Tokyo to cast their ballots for the more personable candidate rather than the candidate with the better policies in gubernatorial elections puts Asano at a disadvantage. This may mean that even with a strong challenge from Asano it is unlikely that Prime Minister Abe will need to add this election to his list of concerns.
Years of translation experience: 19. Registered at ProZ.com: Aug 2007.
David Martin is an experienced translator, editor, illustrator and published author of an illustrated bilingual children's book (Japanese and English). He is a graduate of one of Canada’s top undergraduate universities, Mount Allison, with an Engineering Certificate and a Bachelor of Science Degree. David is also experienced with computers and technology and has worked on web servers, networks and website design and implementation. David is married to Chisako Matsuo of Wakayama, and they have one son, James
Keywords: politics, government, business, translator, science, japan