As the electoral campaign moves into high gear, the candidates for Tokyo's top job - Governor - prepare for the April 11th polls by electioneering throughout the city which one of them will be governing.
As the electoral campaign moves into high gear, the candidates for Tokyo's top job - Governor - prepare for the April 11th polls by electioneering throughout the city which one of them will be governing. Ryokichi Minobe, the incumbent, is already well-familiar with the major problems of the job he has held for four years. His opponent, Akira Hatano, a former Tokyo police chief, is also well-equipped to know how to handle the huge, complex Japanese capital.
Sixty-seven-year-old Governor Minobe, an economist, was elected with Communist and Socialist support - and they are still backing him. While 59-year-old Mr. Hatano is backed by Prime Minister Eisaku Sato's Conservative-Liberal Democratic Party - he won a reputation for toughness when he cracked down on student power during last year-vicious street battles between demonstrators and riot police.
Our film shows the two men campaigning this month - and we have intercut this with library film of various aspects of Tokyo and its problems, i.e. over-population, industrial and urban pollution, lack of sufficient housing.
Other elections for officials from village heads to Mayors, are on April 25. They are all prelude to the House of Councillors (Upper House) election next June.
SYNOPSIS: The Governor's office in Tokyo - the world's most populous city. The man who will govern from here for the next four years will be elected on April eleventh - and the campaign is in high gear. it is more than just another local election, because the result could very well show the direction of Japanese politics for the seventies.
The incumbent Governor, Economist Ryokichi Minobo was elected with Communist and Socialist support - breaking a twenty-year tenure of power in Tokyo by the Liberal Democrats. But the Socialists lost the 1969 General Elections - and Mr. Minobe's party needs to hold Tokyo and win in the provinces to build-up power bases. The sixty-seven-year-old Governor is a popular man and could well retain the Socialist hold on Tokyo.
The opposition is also very strong-fifty-nine-year-old Akira Hatano is a former Tokyo Chief of Police, who gained a reputation for toughness when he cracked down on student power during last year's clashes between demonstrators and riot police. He is backed by Prime Minister Sato's Conservative-Liberal Democratic Party - and is certainly well-equipped to handle the problems of the huge, complex Japanese capital.
Whoever wins the election - he will have problems as massive as the city itself. Huge housing projects are being built - this one, known as Tama New Town, is said to be the world's largest housing estate. But as fast as they grow - they are insufficient to re-house the vast numbers of the city's twelve million people who live in tiny houses and plots of land.
Mr. Hatano's campaign includes a five-year development plan which would cost nearly five thousand million pounds sterling (12 thousand million dollars), and allows for earth quake-resistant buildings.
Another major problem is pollution. Industrial population from the major factories and commercial plants which fill the city - blamed by many for the death of plants and trees.
Exhaust pollution - mainly from old cars which pour into Tokyo's already over-crowded streets - is a punishable offense. Police are empowered to check carbon monoxide levels - and an offender must not only pay a fine, but ensure that the cause be put right. And so high is the incidence of exhaust smog, that the city's traffic police take periodic "oxygen breaks" when on city.
The winner of the April eleventh election has a very tough battle before him.