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Tokyo Snowfall Sends Voter Turnout Plunging in Governor Election
Written by Keiko Tanaka On 11 February 2014 @ 1:07 am | No Comments
In Breaking News, Citizen Media, East Asia, Elections, Japan, Japanese, Politics, Weblog
As a winter storm dumped the heaviest snowfall in 45 years  on Tokyo, only 46.16 percent of voters went to the polls to cast their ballots for governor on Sunday, February 9, 2014, the third-lowest turnout in
Tokyo's governor election history.
The newly elected governor is Masuzoe Yoichi , former cabinet minister backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komei Party, winning 2,112,979 votes, or about 43 percent of the vote.
Twitter users shared their criticism of the low turnout. Philosopher Tatsuru Uchida  [ja] expressed his disappointment:
— 内田樹 (@levinassien) 2014, 2月 10 
The number of voters who went to the polls for Tokyo's governor election made me feel washed out. It seems to me that the Japanese with conventional virtue and conventional political means, are silently heading in a direction where it's like, “hey, there's a precipice ahead.”
Illustrator Nigirikopushi drew a caricature, linking the coldness of the weather and the losing anti-nuclear candidates. In the center, winning Masuzoe is holding three umbrellas representing “Walfare”, ‘”Olympics” and “Economy” while wearing a warm jacket with the Liberal Democratic Party's and Komei Party's emblems on it. On the left is a portrait of a shivering Kenji Utsunomiya, an anti-nuclear human rights lawyer who came in second place. On the right is anti-nuclear candidate Morihiro Hosokawa, who took third, standing next to his supporter, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, saying “it's cold out here”. The writing in the snow reads “anti-nuclear”:
【風刺風似顔絵】雪の都知事選 pic.twitter.com/aPtpp3Fny0 
— にぎりこぷし (@ncopsi) 2014, 2月 10 
Caricature portrait for Tokyo's governor election.
Former newspaper reporter Eiken Itagaki argues  [ja] that Masuzoe may run afoul of Japan's Public Officers Election Act, saying he distributed Tokyo Olympic badges worth 3,000 Japanese yen (about 30 US dollars) each to gain support, an act that could violate the law prohibiting political contributions for campaign. The complainant is the same activist group  that has filed a complaint against former Governor Naoki Inose  late last year for allegedly receiving contribution. Inose claimed that it was a personal loan but he resigned over the issue. The complaint against new Governor awaits whether or not the court will take his accusation.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/11/tokyo-snowfall-sends-voter-turnout-plunging-in-governor-election/
URLs in this post:
 heaviest snowfall in 45 years: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/09/heavy-snowfall-brings-playtime-to-tokyo/
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lestaylorphoto/12444386714/sizes/z/
 Masuzoe Yoichi: http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/tokyo-governor-election-puts-nuclear-power-to-test
 Tatsuru Uchida: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%86%85%E7%94%B0%E6%A8%B9
 2014, 2月 10: https://twitter.com/levinassien/statuses/432673818629251072
 pic.twitter.com/aPtpp3Fny0: http://t.co/aPtpp3Fny0
 2014, 2月 10: https://twitter.com/ncopsi/statuses/432681188851847169
 argues: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/itagaki-eiken/e/f95ae8e918107f94940f68a0d300926f
 same activist group: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/11/25/national/activists-file-criminal-complaint-against-tokyo-governor/#.Uvg6wtJ_v1Y
 Naoki Inose: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/11/28/tokyo-governor-money-scandal-turns-graphic-meme/
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