Yokohama City Mayor Re-Election
Ms. Fumiko Hayashi

 

My school is located in Yokohama-city, in Kanagawa-prefecture, Japan. Yokohama city, a city designated by ordinance, is one of the largest cities in Japan, with the population of 3.7 million (which is almost the same as the population of Shizuoka prefecture), and with the biggest state budget in Japan of 1.4 trillion yen. In June 2013, Yokohama city held the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, so the citizens of the city were able to feel closer to Africa, In addition, Yokohama city was historically the place where Commodore Perry's black ships, from the US Navy, visited and concluded the Treaty of Kanagawa. Yokohama city is where trains first ran in Japan, and also where the first ice cream was made in Japan. The oldest international school in Asia is also located here; Saint Maur International School, which is the school I go to!

 In Yokohama city, the election of the mayor was held on August 25th, 2013, with three candidates. I would like to introduce to you the Japanese mayor election system. After thinking over the policy and results of the three candidates, I have decided that I will present this through the election campaign of the current mayor, Fumiko Hayashi.Every candidate sets up an election office. The photos below show Ms. Fumiko Hayashi's candidate office.
The election campaign of 2 weeks start, so the candidates put up posters on specific
sign boards around the city, and start to advertise. These campaign activities include running an advertisement car from eight in the morning to eight in the afternoon (which is a car with posters and speakers advertising the candidate),

perform speeches and shaking hands on the streets, ,and handing out brochures.

In addition, Yokohama’s water office workers and civil engineers also cooperate on raising the recognition of the election to the people.

On the day of the election, the citizens bring an envelope (which sent to each citizen that has voting rights beforehand) to the polling station (that is indicated in on the envelope) in order to vote. The city’s public buildings, such as schools, are used as polling stations. At the election, a citizen first receives a ballot paper in exchange of a letter that was in the envelope.The citizen then proceeds to the polling table to write down the name of the candidate they chose on the ballot paper with pencil. These tables have partition panels so that the votes are confidential.Without folding the paper, the citizen will then drop the ballot paper into the ballot box. The city citizen needs to be 20 years old or older to be eligible to vote.Of course, there is a system of early voting for people who cannot go to vote on the election day, for reasons such as work or travel.

The voting results will be publicized within 30 minutes after the election. This can happen because journalists go to the polling stations from beforehand to carry out an exit poll. When the results were out indicating Mayor Fumiko Hayashi's re-election, she and the people in her office started celebrating. Social media, such as television interviews and newspaper, rushed in to the room to grasp a shot of this celebration.

At the office, Fumiko Hayashi introduces her ambitions and goals for her second term as the mayor of Yokohama city.

(Reported by Madoka Nishina)

Participants

Madoka Nishina  10th Saint Maur International School

Karen Nishina      4th Saint Maur International School