U.S. Election

5 Nov

As everyone around the world knows, the 2008 U.S. Presidental election is over and Barack Obama will take office as the President of the United States in January 2009.

Just as many world leaders did, the Prime Minister of Japan offered his congratulations to Obama:

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Senator Obama on his election as president of the United States of America.

Working together with President-elect Obama, I will strive to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and to resolve various challenges the international community faces when addressing issues such as the international economy, terrorism and the environment…

内閣総理大臣麻生太郎 (Tarou Asou, Prime Minister of Japan)


Also, as I said in this post, the Japanese city of 小浜 (Obama) has supported Barack Obama ever since he became a candidate for the U.S. presidency. They sent him gifts (and they received a reply letter from his office with a couple words written in 日本語 (Japanese)).

The city of Obama has “Obama hula dancers” and souvenirs with Barack Obama’s image on them.

They’re considering making Barack Obama an honorary citizen of the town.

Of course, the reason for all of this is because Obama is a small town in western Japan that was losing money and the town’s mayor saw an opportunity to attract tourists…and it’s working. Suddenly the town is getting many visitors…some of them from overseas.

The tourism campaign is called “Obama For Obama“.

The mayor anticipates the town of Obama will become a world-famous vacation destination now that Barack Obama won the election.

The “Obama Hula Dancers” hope to perform at Barack Obama’s inauguration in January, by the way.

16 Responses to “U.S. Election”

  1. tokyo5 December 31, 2008 at 12:07 pm #


    >I didn’t know there was such a place

    Yes. 「小浜」 (Obama) is a Japanese name (besides the town, it’s also a family name).
    I was surprised that Obama is an African name…it sounds so Japanese.

    Of course, though, the Irish family name “O’hara” sounds like the Japanese family name 「小原」 (Ohara).


  2. Mom December 31, 2008 at 7:26 am #

    This was so interesting to read about, esp about the town of Obama! I didn’t know there was such a place but the mayor sure knows how to capitalize on the town’s new namesake.
    It was really good of the prime minsiter to voice his congratulations and support for the new Pres. elect too. America needs all the support and friends she can get now and Japan is a great ally to have.


  3. tokyo5 November 11, 2008 at 11:59 pm #


    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Yes, it’s true that the prime minister of Japan has changed often in recent years. (I have seen about a dozen or so since I came to Japan).
    But I’m sure Asou-さん will still be in office when Obama moves into the White House.

    And I think the US presidential campaigning was far too long, even with, like you said, all new faces!

    And I have seen a couple episodes of that American TV show “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Do you like it?
    I couldn’t imagine what the appeal would be, personally. Bad acting and bad jokes…I thought.


  4. Jason November 11, 2008 at 11:41 pm #

    I think it is being quite presumptuous that Asou is even going to get a chance to work with Obama. How long does Asou really think he has left in power?

    The election campaigns were especially long this time because neither party had an incumbent to re-elect and the incumbent vice president wasn’t seeking the presidency, so basically it was totally wide open. Hence the nearly 2-year process.

    Plus I think they just wanted to give the people hope that Bush won’t be in office forever, even though it may seem like that.

    Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm waxes the praises of Obama the best. You can find it on YouTube if you search for it. Don’t watch it in the office though!


  5. tokyo5 November 9, 2008 at 1:56 am #

    An American presidential term is four years…but it seems like the last two years are spent campaigning for the next term.


  6. Sir Pent November 9, 2008 at 1:29 am #

    I really think it’s always been a circus…the difference is that in the last 20 years, the media has grown so huge that every little bit of every little thing is broadcast on an endless loop. Not only is it broadcast on an endless loop, it can be commented on by armies of “pundits” and millions of schlubs like us on blogs like this.

    So I guess I’m saying…it’s a circus, but we’re all lining up to go into the tent.

    (How about THAT for a pithy comment?)


  7. tokyo5 November 8, 2008 at 12:58 am #


    >close to my home.

    Yes, you’re from the “West coast”.

    >I can get lots of info about Japan from your blog.

    Thanks. (^_^)


  8. tokyo5 November 8, 2008 at 12:53 am #

    Sir Pent…

    From here, the U.S. presidential campaign looks like a circus. And too long!
    To me, politicians are politicians.


  9. umepontarou November 7, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Oh yes, I think I remember the story.

    I didn’t know that Obama city is in Fukui! I don’t know why I didn’t notice it before… close to my home.
    I can get lots of info about Japan from your blog. Thanks:)


  10. Sir Pent November 7, 2008 at 3:13 am #

    I disagree that a Republican couldn’t have won. I think McCain just made too many mistakes in the campaign. His healthcare proposal was a little scary to think about and Palin turned off a LOT of voters.

    In the end, people keep talking about it like it was a landslide. Obama got about 52% of the popular vote to McCain getting about 47%.
    To me that’s not a landslide…Obama just won the right states. Even in some of the key states that gave him huge electoral votes, the popular vote was close. It was in a couple of isolated key states that Obama dominated.
    “The people have spoken”…yes, I agree. He won and there is no contention.

    I don’t want to sound like I am knocking Obama and was a McCain supporter. To be honest, I was one of the few that didn’t care for EITHER candidates.

    Now that he’s won, I really DO hope that Obama lives up to all the hype.

    Sir Pent


  11. tokyo5 November 6, 2008 at 11:44 pm #


    >I didn’t know that the city of 小浜 (Obama) was supporting Barack Obama:)

    Yes, you can read a bit more about it at an older post I wrote here:

    Before Barack Obama became famous, the only thing that the town of 小浜 (Obama) was known for was being the hometown of two people who were abducted by North Korea (and not allowed to return to Japan for about 24 years!


  12. umepontarou November 6, 2008 at 11:35 pm #

    I didn’t know that the city of 小浜 (Obama) was supporting Barack Obama:)
    and the tourism campaign “Obama For Obama“… so catchy!
    I.m glad that he won!


  13. tokyo5 November 6, 2008 at 10:41 pm #


    >What a nice write-up.

    >We’ve heard about Obama, Japan several times in the U.S. media over the past month.

    You’ve heard about Obama, Japan? Did they show pictures of the town?

    >Geraldine Ferraro in the 1980s

    I remember that!


  14. sfrunner November 6, 2008 at 1:46 am #

    Hi Tokyo5. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. What a nice write-up. We’ve heard about Obama, Japan several times in the U.S. media over the past month. Also. the country of Kenya has been mentioned numerous times. Definitely, the election was historical on both sides with an African-American President-elect and the runner-up Vice Presidnetial candidate being the second woman to be chosen (Geraldine Ferraro in the 1980s).


  15. tokyo5 November 5, 2008 at 11:35 pm #

    Bryan Helmig…

    Thanks for visiting my site and commenting! Feel free to comment on any post anytime.

    >There is a Japanese city called Obama?

    Yes, 「小浜」 (Obama) means “Small Beach”. It’s on the West Coast of Japan.

    >there was no way a Republican could win.

    Really? Four years ago, noone thought Bush would get re-elected (at least, noone outside of the U.S. 😉 )!


  16. Bryan Helmig November 5, 2008 at 11:24 pm #

    There is a Japanese city called Obama. That’s great. People were so fed up with Republicans that there was no way a Republican could win. I even believe that if things were different and Obama was a Republican, he would have lost. America has spoken.


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