Taro Yamamoto And Some Thoughts On The Election Results
He paints a picture of someone like himself punching small holes in the huge concrete dam that is the current political situation, very inflexible and difficult to change. But even tiny holes can create a powerful leverage to crush that state of mind...
Not so great that the two green party candidates - while getting a lot of votes - did not make it. Also, not so great that Finland-born Marutei Tsurunen, a supporter of organic farming and generally a great guy, who spoke out against racism and took a great interest in the disaster prevention measures after the earthquake and tsunami, did not get re-elected. I wish him well, I have met him and Japan's parliament could need a lot more people of his ilk. Kiitos!
Blogger Temple Valley Times noted something I had missed - major newspaper Asahi's front page image of a great gathering of people is in fact from Yohei Miyake's rally at Shibuya Station in central Tokyo. Never heard of him? Seems there may have been something of a media blackout against this green party candidate. Says Temple Valley Times:
In the aftermath of Japan's recent national elections, some disappointed supporters of musician and Green Party candidate, Yohei Miyake, have blamed the loss of the progressive campaigner on what they believe was a virtual media blackout. This week Twitter was aflutter with folks decrying the lack of media coverage on Miyake and as evidence more than one sharp-eyed observer has pointed to this photo accompanying an election story in one of Japan's three largest dailies, the Asahi Shimbun.
The front page of the paper features a photo of Miyake giving an electioneering campaign performance to a huge crowd in front of the entrance to Tokyo's Shibuya Train Station. While the article mentions every other political party, it spares no ink on the Green Party nor its main candidate who is pictured on stage in the photo.
Despite any obstacles he may have faced in getting his message across, Miyake didn't do too bad a job for a minor party candidate in an electoral system that is geared toward the big party machines. In fact he actually garnered more votes than a couple of his winning opponents and if that sounds a little fuzzy, take a closer look at that photo again.
On closer inspection it would seem that the paper has digitally erased the words on the Green Party banner in the lower left hand corner. I don't know if I'd call it a news "blackout" but it does seem to have been a bit of a blur.
Related post: Fanning Flames of Hope
But we have Youtube and other means to find out about these people and candidates, and while I can't vote, you may know someone who can. Yes, it may be a couple of years down the line.
Top image from J Huffington Post.
And here is a much better take on things, as they stand, from Ten Thousand Things:
Monday, July 22, 2013
Nuclear-free activist Taro Yamamoto wins; Yohei Miyake via YouTube & Twitter: "Keep the Motivation"...
YOHEI MIYAKE Melodious Campaign Speech (Greens Japan)
Nuclear-free candidate Taro Yamamoto won an Upper House seat after losing a bid for a Lower House seat in last December's election. The actor also opposed Tokyo's entry into TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) negotiations.
Short news documentary on Yamamoto at Shingetsu News here on YouTube:
"I/we lost, but I/we gained so much". He also mentions the need for international collaboration for world peace. He got a lot of votes. He is a winner for me. This is just the start of his new journey.
三宅洋平 / Yohei Miyake @MIYAKE_YOHEI
やれる事はすべてやった。 もっとうまくやれる方法も沢山分かった。 負けたが、得たものは大きい。 伸び代しかない。 次は強い党を作らないと、だね。 そして国際平和のための世界的な連帯作り。 おし、まずは走り込みだ！ #176970票
Ah, democracy. But, we prefer that to any other system of government. Right...?
(Thanks to the people who put English subtitles on these videos)