Hashimoto re-elected Osaka mayor; voter turnout 23.59%

OSAKA —

Toru Hashimoto was easily re-elected Osaka mayor Sunday. Hashimoto, 44, who resigned last month, garnered 377,472 votes. His nearest challenger, Toshihisa Fujishima, 51, got only 24,004 votes.

Voter turnout was only 23.59%, Japanese media reported Monday.

Two other candidates, former temp worker Shigeo Ninomiya, 37, and businessman Mac Akasaka, 65, both got less than 20,000 votes.

None of the three main political parties—the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the New Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan—fielded any candidates. Hashimoto is backed by the Japan Restoration Party which he co-founded with former Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara.

Hashimoto, whose first term was not scheduled to end until December 2015, stepped down because he said he wants to seek re-election in a bid to prove he has public support for his plans to reform local government. He has long championed a plan to merge the prefectural and municipal governments of Osaka, claiming it would cut out unnecessary layers of bureaucracy.

A panel made up of representatives of the Osaka prefectural government and Osaka municipal government in February rejected plans to speed up the integration, prompting his decision to go over their heads to the electorate.

Japanese media commentators say that Hashimoto’s reelection won’t change anything since the forces opposed to his plan remain in the assembly.

Japan Today

  • -3

    kimuzukashiiiii

    Go shigeo!!

  • 12

    dbsaiya

    What a waste of money, and only for his little ego.

  • 1

    Kent Mcgraw

    Voter turn out is 15.62% that says a lot. No one cares. Perhaps elections have become a joke all over the world as the votes do not count. Perhaps there was no one running that voters could see as being for them so the cronies went out to vote while the people protested that there was no good candidate. This is not just Osaka but people all over are getting tired of elections with no real choices about whom to elect. If no one votes I win by a landslide because I voted for me and my friends voted.

  • -4

    Mitch Cohen

    Hashimoto must be doing a good job as mayor of Osaka to get re-elected. Pity about ultra-nationalist agenda. He won't make headlines around the world for being a good mayor but he will for making history revisionist statements.

  • 7

    John Galt

    " Hashimoto, whose first term was not scheduled to end until December 2015, stepped down because he said he wants to seek re-election in a bid to prove he has public support for his plans to reform local government."

    If he is re-elected with fewer than 16% even casting a vote it clearly is invalid and that he does not have local support. What it does show is that the people utterly disregard the pols.

  • 2

    hatsoff

    None of the three main political parties—the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the New Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan—have fielded any candidates.

    Isn't this shameful? So much for valuing the democratic process and giving the electorate real choices.

    Hashimoto, whose first term was not scheduled to end until December 2015, stepped down because he said he wants to seek re-election in a bid to prove he has public support for his plans to reform local government.

    Well a p***-poor 15.62% turnout is certainly no endorsement for his policies. Again, it's shameful that the main parties have not given the electorate a real choice.

  • 4

    GW

    Disgusting on far too many levels!

  • -5

    JoeBigs

    If voter turnout is so back I think it isn't an indication of the lack of support for Hashimoto. Rather the low turnout is a clear indication that no party has put forth candidate that stands a chance.

    Now, if Hashimoto's supporters stayed home because they were over confidante, well then, we might have a real horserace.

  • 1

    Cricky

    15% that's a joke. What is going on in Japan.

  • 5

    iWorld

    People won't vote when they know their vote doesn't make any difference.

  • 0

    slumdog

    People won't vote when they know their vote doesn't make any difference.

    If everyone votes, it does make a difference.

  • 2

    MGigante

    I've seen voter turnout at around 23% from other sources. Doesn't really matter, though.

    This is was a joke, and this guy is such a tool. Just one more year, and he's out of office.

  • 3

    Thomas Anderson

    This just proves that Hashimoto popularity was just something made up by the media.

  • -1

    toshiko

    Looks like Osaka people and Osaka political parties will concentrate on next year's December election instead of wasting time and effort on this election.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    voter turnout was only 15.62%.

    Apathy,

    This country is ready to fall to a hand of dictator.

  • -6

    toshiko

    @globalwatcherMAR. 24, 2014 - 02:51AM JST voter turnout was only 15.62%. Apathy, This country is ready to fall to a hand of dictator

    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    So you think Osaka ia Japan. Who is a dictator???

    For your information, Japan is not Osaka. Please look at an Atlas book. Not Country Osaka but Country Japan.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    toshikoMar. 24, 2014 - 03:54AM JST

    So you think Osaka ia Japan. Who is a dictator???

    For your information, Japan is not Osaka. Please look at an Atlas book. Not Country Osaka but Country Japan.

    Recent Tokyo Metropolitan Election turn out rate was as listed below.

    turnout at 1,869 polling stations was an estimated 4.10%, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Electoral Management Committee.

    Both Osaka and Tokyo are big cities indicating true faces of Japanese political apathy. The political apathy is a perfect bed for a possible dictator to take over the government. I am just giving you a well advanced warning to Japanese citizens. I am studying a turn out rate of AKB48 that is bigger than this. It is interesting in study of Probability.

    PB + D > C, where

    P is the probability that an individual's vote will affect the outcome of an election,

    B is the perceived benefit that would be received if that person's favored political party or candidate were elected,

    D originally stood for democracy or civic duty, but today represents any social or personal gratification an individual gets from voting, and

    C is the time, effort, and financial cost involved in voting.

  • -4

    toshiko

    @globalwaqtcher: You are still confused. Tokyo election was Governorship election. This election was Osaka mayor election. there are 1 to, 1do, 2f 43 kwen. This election is not Osaka governor election. You are comparing like Florida city Electio with NY Sate election. Study Japanese map, I suggest.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    toshikoMar. 24, 2014 - 05:01AM JST

    @globalwaqtcher: You are still confused. Tokyo election was Governorship election. This election was Osaka mayor election. there are 1 to, 1do, 2f 43 kwen. This election is not Osaka governor election. You are comparing like Florida city Electio with NY Sate election. Study Japanese map, I suggest.

    The turn out rate is a turn out rate regardless. A subset in variety of turn out rates still gives a good probability. I guess I am talking with someone who does not know a study of probability. Good luck.

  • -11

    toshiko

    @globalwatch: turnout rate of a city is not comparative to turnout rate of a prefecture or a ward of a prefecture.

  • 3

    globalwatcher

    toshikoMar. 24, 2014 - 05:57AM JST

    @globalwatch: turnout rate of a city is not comparative to turnout rate of a prefecture or a ward of a prefecture

    Ahhh.... speechless. Good luck.

  • 6

    smithinjapan

    It's so funny that a guy who claims his reelection would prove that he should get his way wastes so much tax money only to have a mere 16% or so vote him in. Sorry, bud, but that is not the majority of the people approving your fascist methodology!

    toshiko: regardless of 'the map' you suggest others should look at, the turn-out of those eligible to vote was a mere 23%, which is pathetic.

  • 3

    gokai_wo_maneku

    We get what we deserve.

  • -5

    toshiko

    @smithinjapan: I speculate that there will be sincere candidate in the election on December next year. Too much money and fund are needed on election. if they became candidate, they have to spend more money. Instead of collecting dirty money and bribe, these decided not to be candidates. So, Osaka people ignored to vote and they will vote for December election. There was no credible candidates anyway.

  • -1

    globalwatcher

    gokaiwomanekuMar. 24, 2014 - 08:17AM JST

    <<We get what we deserve.

    ditto.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    gokai: "We get what we deserve."

    Second ditto, save that the people who could make a difference can't vote -- probably something Hashimoto is pleased with.

  • 3

    Mirai Hayashi

    15% that's a joke. What is going on in Japan.

    AKB would have had a better turn out had they been running.

  • 4

    Onniyama

    There you go Hashimoto. You are NOT popular! Thanks for wasting tax dollars on an election.

  • 0

    itsonlyrocknroll

    Voter turnout 23.59%, the very definition of apathy in the democratic process.

    How Hashimoto will maintain a straight face under the intense glare of public and media scrutiny with such a poor mandate to govern, remains to be seen.

  • -2

    globalwatcher

    smithinjapanMar. 24, 2014 - 08:58AM JST

    gokai: "We get what we deserve."

    Second ditto, save that the people who could make a difference can't vote -- probably something Hashimoto is pleased with.

    Sad. I cannot either, smith

    Most troubling issue for me is that Japanese voters are throwing democracy away. We need to work harder to earn it. Remember many Ukrainians were killed because they fought for democracy. I guess, secretly, a majority sheep Japanese want a dictator, but they never want to admit it. It is an undeniable fact.

    They all want to say,"it is our fate", or "shooganai". Wala! Well unjustified answer to me.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Less than 25% of the people could actually be bothered voting? What a bloody disgrace!

  • 2

    avatarfx

    How about this? If most Japanese people want to show their dissatisfaction with the government by not voting, how about getting elected only when there is at least a 50% participation? (food for thought)

  • -8

    globalwatcher

    how about getting elected only when there is at least a 50% participation? (food for thought)

    Great idea. How would you motivate them? Many are just careless. When Chinese Red Army show up to shores of Japan for invasion, then sheep Japanese start running around screaming and wonder what had happened to the politicians of Japan. Be aware China is watching all of this.

  • 0

    kcjapan

    Hashimoto, 377,472 votes. Fujishima, 24,004 votes. Fifteen Hashimoto votes to every Fujishima vote? None of the three main political parties fielded any candidates?

    These facts paint a dismal picture of the political climate of Osaka and maybe the state of democracy in Japan. Perhaps Osakans should vote on not voting any more since 75% seemingly could not care less about the tactics and policies of a Hashimoto government. Osakans may have spoken for the last time; let the oaths of allegiance begin?

  • -1

    Thomas Anderson

    The voter turnout was low because there was no one to vote for. You either have hashimoto, or the other joke candidates.

    The second most voted for was for no one. Apparently a lot of people wrote on the voting paper like, "you're kidding me" and "a waste of tax payers money".

  • -1

    globalwatcher

    You never know how much democracy really means to you until you lose it.

    So please vote for you, your children and children of your children.

    If you do not want to bother voting, then you are just whining like an annoying wife who does not know how to shut up.

  • 1

    Reckless

    people just done and gave up. anyone including a dead dog could get elected by that margin,,,

  • 4

    Graham DeShazo

    I think this actually weakens Hashimoto as he wanted a referendum on his plan and 3/4 of the voters took a pass. There is no way to spin this as a vote of confidence (although he will certainly try). The council will likely give him a raspberry. I know I would.

  • 3

    Jimizo

    It looks like Hashimoto will need to start upping the ante if he wants attention. This bold move to gain his mandate was met with a yawning 'can't be arsed' from the Osaka voters. Perhaps he's got some outrageous comments lined up. Uncle Shintaro might be able to dust off a few belters for him.

  • 1

    rickyvee

    gokaiwomanekuMar. 24, 2014 - 08:17AM JST

    We get what we deserve.

    that makes absolutely no sense. we get what a majority of people voting want. which is different from what a majority of the population wants.

  • 2

    James Dean Jnr.

    A-Pathetic.

  • 3

    sf2k

    23.59%!? Hardly a mandate, or even a democracy at this point

  • 0

    Bartholomew Harte

    • And the winner is Hatamoto Hashimoto by a landslide! what else is new? ?
  • 0

    Abhorsenaube

    Are voter turnouts always so low?

  • 1

    taj

    AbhorsenaubeMar. 26, 2014 - 03:58AM JST

    Are voter turnouts always so low?

    No. As Graham and others posted above, Hashimoto was looking for a show of support for his policies by resigning and running again with a year and 8 months lef in his term.

    All the majore parties and 3/4 of the population ignored him altogether. A handful actually wasted part of their Sunday voting for the nutters who threw their hats in the ring against him.

  • 0

    A.N. Other

    Hashimoto, 44, who resigned last month, garnered 377,472 votes.

    Hashimoto said: "Well, first I'd like a word about the disgraceful circumstances in which this election arose. We paid for this seat, and we think it is a damn liberty that we should have to stand for it as well."

    Ishihara commented that: "Thw number of votes I cast [377,472] was simply a reflection of how firmly I believe in his policies."

    A good day for democracy all round!

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