In blow to Suga, opposition party-backed candidate wins Yokohama mayoral election

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. (one’s) home turf / hoʊm tɜrf / (n.) – the area where one lives and feels welcome or has authority

    The team is expected to win their next game because it’ll be on their home turf.

  2. endorse / ɛnˈdɔrs / (v.) – to openly approve

    The idea was Rob’s, but we all endorsed it.

  3. crushing / ˈkrʌʃɪŋ / (adj.) – causing extreme disappointment or embarrassment

    Everyone was silent after the team’s crushing defeat.

  4. blow / bloʊ / (n.) – an unfortunate or unlucky happening

    The unexpected loss was a huge blow to the tennis star.

  5. put the brakes on (something) / pʊt ðə breɪks ɑn / (idiom) – to slow or stop the progress of something

    Ken’s sudden decision to quit put the brakes on the project.


Read the text below.

In a stunning political setback for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on his home turf, opposition party-backed Takeharu Yamanaka defeated seven other candidates in the race to become Yokohama mayor.

The victory by Yamanaka, 48, who was endorsed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and received the support of other major opposition parties, was a crushing personal and political blow for Suga. The prime minister, who represents a district in Yokohama in the Lower House, had thrown his support behind his longtime friend and supporter, former National Public Safety Commission chair Hachiro Okonogi, 56.

Yamanaka’s victory also puts the brakes on Yokohama’s efforts to host a casino resort in the city’s waterfront Yamashita Pier district. Of the eight candidates, six, including Okonogi and Yamanaka, opposed the plans, approved by the Yokohama Municipal Assembly and outgoing Mayor Fumiko Hayashi, 75, who was one of two candidates running in support. (The Japan Times)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Yamanaka’s victory was a crushing personal and political blow for Suga. Do you think it influenced Suga’s decision to pull out of the upcoming LDP election? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Suga had thrown his support behind Okonogi, his longtime friend. In your opinion, how much does such support matter in an election? Would you be willing to vote for someone just because a politician you like supports him/her? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Six out of the eight candidates opposed plans for Yokohama to host a casino resort in the city’s waterfront Yamashita Pier district. Why do you think so many candidates were against it? Would you like a casino to be built in your area? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Yamanaka’s victory put the brakes on the plans for the casino. If you could put the brakes on anything right now, what would you choose to stop (ex. a friend’s plans to move far away, your department’s plans for a new project)? Why? Discuss.