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SECURITY > Okinawa

Okinawa leader under fire after contracting coronavirus

  • June 29, 2022
  • , Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo
  • JMH Summary

The two major Okinawa papers reported on Okinawa Governor Tamaki’s testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, which will force him to remain in self-isolation and refrain from official duties at least through July 7, saying that since he attended a prefectural assembly session for an hour or so on Monday night even after he learned that one of his family members had tested positive for the virus earlier in the evening, most assembly members, irrespective of party affiliation, criticized the governor for failing to abide by proper infection prevention protocols. The prefectural leader, who had engaged with the family member in question on Sunday evening without wearing a mask, was judged to be a close contact only after the legislature adjourned for the day. The prefectural assembly reportedly decided to postpone the closing of the summer session by three days through July 15 so as to accommodate the Q&A sessions that have to be canceled due to the governor’s illness. Local politicians close to the governor were shocked by his “careless” conduct and disappointed by the fact that he will not be able to campaign for All Okinawa Coalition candidate Iha, who is seeking another term in the July 10 Upper House election. On the other hand, LDP officials were buoyed by what they saw as Tamaki’s “failure in crisis management.” Tamaki issued last night a comment expressing a “deep apology” for causing anxiety and inconvenience.

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