Governor gives university lecture: “ You can change politics.”

Governor gives university lecture: “ You can change politics.”

Gov. Denny Tamaki takes questions from students at Okinawa University on Jan. 28.


January 29, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo 


Okinawa University and some 250 law students welcomed Gov. Denny Tamaki as a guest lecturer on Jan. 28. Gov. Tamaki shared his upbringing and how he entered the world of politics.

Tamaki told the students that “the accumulation of small experiences become the foundation to how you decide what changes are needed in the future,” and encouraged them to “cherish the experiences only available to you today.”


The governor’s guiding principles are independence, coexistence and diversity.

To this day, he remembers being bullied as a child due to his biracial ethnicity, and his mother offering him the Okinawan saying, “All ten fingers are different.”


Tamaki was elected to the Lower House of the Diet as a member of the then Democratic Party of Japan for the first time in 2009.

He spoke on the majority take-over from the Liberal Democratic Party: “The people sought change, and shifted the political landscape.” He stressed that “You can change politics.”


When asked by a student whether the results of the prefectural referendum will be given weight, the governor answered that “while the referendum is not legally binding, it clearly asserts Okinawa’s position. It’s a way to provide the central government with a basis for decision making.” An economic law student, Ryusei Kitayama, 19, said, “the lecture sparked my interest in elections. I wanted to hear more from the governor.”


(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)


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