In the election for Mayor of Naha City, capital of Okinawa, held on January 12, there were two candidates, both of whom designated themselves as Socialists. The major issue of the election, according to a New York Times report, was “not whether the Okinawans would register opposition to US rule, but how strenuously they would oppose it.” The answer turned out to be that the people of Naha would oppose US rule as strenuously as they were allowed to, for they elected Saichi Kaneshi, who had campaigned on a platform of “ousting the Americans and reuniting the island with Japan.”
This result “galled” U.S. military authorities on Okinawa. As well it might, since the election was part of a complex maneuver by which the Americans had hoped to replace an “unsympathetic” Mayor (Kamejiro Senaga) by one more to their liking. The January election was forecast back in November last year. when a brief UP dispatch reported that Lt. Gen. James E. Moore, U.S. High Commissioner and military commander on Okinawa, had announced four ordinance changes that “would permit the ouster of Naha’s leftist Mayor, Kamejiro Senaga.”
Senaga, who had been elected Mayor of Naha on Christmas Day 1956, for a four-year term, had been a bother to the American authorities for almost a year. The government of Okinawa, of course, is an American military dictator• ship, but back on April 1, 1952 the military established a system of limited native political participation in domestic problems, subject to American veto. In Naha the people were allowed to vote for a City Council and Mayor.
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