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Mainichi Interactive
Tanaka reelected Nagano gov.

NAGANO -- Former Nagano Gov. Yasuo Tanaka, who lost his position in July after the prefectural assembly adopted a no-confidence motion against him, was reelected in Sunday's gubernatorial race, according to early vote counting.

Today I sent Tanaka-san a Doraemon Telegram congratulating him on winning the election. The telegram comes stuck in the head of a stuffed Doraemon doll under the whirly thing on his head.

Anyway, after writing the rather pitiful introverted item about conspiracies, I realized that I was a wimp. Tanaka-san became governor, fought against the whole prefectural assembly about stopping wasteful public works funding of dams. He ran for governor again after the no-confidence vote and got reelected again to continue to fight. It was the first time in the history of Japan, I heard, that a no-confidence vote occurred for policy reasons and not a scandal. I wonder what the prefectural assembly is going to do now that it is so obvious the people are against them and their pork barrel politics ways. So, I should remember Mahatma Gandhi and remember that determination and stubbornness go a long way. Although Tanaka-san is not a Gandhi, he is one of the most stubborn people I know and completely impossible to co-opt. I don't think ANYONE questions that point, although people question other things about him. I should probably stop worrying about what people think and worry about sticking to my principles and being a little more stubborn.

Tanaka-san and I were plotting some great stuff to do with IT policy in Nagano so hopefully this stuff with the dams will settle down and we can get to work turning Nagano into IT-stupidity-free prefecture. It will be a pleasure working with someone with the balls to force change.


Congratulations to Mr. Tanaka. After reading 'Dogs and Demons', I better appreciate what he is fighting for. I, for one, am sick and tired of all the concrete dams and tetra dodads on the beach.

The New York Times puts a real positive spin on Tanaka's victory, and markedly contrasts him with Koizumi. Yeehah!

September 2, 2002 International: Reformer Wins in Japan After Ouster by Legislature By Howard W. French A reformer won re-election on Sunday as governor in the conservative Nagano Prefecture, six weeks after being ousted by the regional legislature. Reformer Wins in Japan After Ouster by Legislature

OK, Tanaka-san is cool and everything, ...

But where did you find the Doraemon telegram??! That rocks!

Haha. Actually, it is an official NTT product. Just call 115 or order one over the Internet. I think they have Winnie the Poo and Kitty too. The web site in Japanese is

the Doraemon telegram is the coolest thing!

the excitement over the "wind of change" alluded to in the NYT article justin posted reminded me of a manga i read nearly ten years ago, Sanctuary by Fumimura Sho and Ikegami Ryoichi. it's a great take on complicated political maneuverings as a young politician and a Yukuza member take on traditional Japanese politics. of course it's got its fair share of salacious sex scenes and so on, but the core ideas of the story are exhilerating.

it's available in the U.S. in English.

Hi Jane. I've never read Sanctuary. It's amazing how much you know about Japanese Manga. Also, I agree. The "wind of change" part was great. I hope it becomes a hurricane quickly and comes and blows away most of Kasumigaseki.

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私は長野県のMentor(指南役)を勤めています。どういうことか私自身もよく分かりませんが、とにかく今日は祭日なのに他のMentorと一緒に長野県庁で知事のスタッフに色々なアドバイスを... Read More