Tokyo assembly election: Meet the candidates (Part 9 of 10) – Osato Ichikawa (Independent)

Next up is Osato Ichikawa (41) another conservative former Adachi-ku assemblyman who is betting on an electoral upset to put him back in the game.

From Tokyo Prefectural Assembly Election

Career: Another native Adachian (Adachiite?), Ichikawa (pictured with his campaign manager Hayate)  is confined to a wheelchair due to an accident from his middle school days. The accident did not keep him from becoming living a full life, however – he married his high school sweetheart and is a graduate of Waseda University’s law faculty.


After a stint working for Fukuoka-based real estate firm I-Bic, with LDP backing Ichikawa ran and won a seat in the Adachi-ku assembly in 2003 and won re-election in 2007. He appears to be in the middle of his second term, but if Tokyo Shimbun is to be believed he resigned his post to contest this election.

Policy: Amazingly, web sources reveal precious little about what he stands for. His web presence consists of a sparse site designed for mobile phones and an apparently discontinued Livedoor blog.

An official election notice that came in the mail provides more detail. According to the flier, his emphasis is on handicapped access and kid-safe facilities. He also wants to build more infrastructure, shut down Shin Ginko Tokyo, and reduce the number of prefectural representatives (that I agree with – why does Adachi-ku need six?).

He is the only candidate in Adachi-ku to place the issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens on his agenda. He wants to get to the bottom of the so-called “Nishi-Arai incident” in which a North Korean spy was living in Adachi-ku under the stolen identity of a man from Hokkaido from 1968-1983. The spy subsequently left the country but is suspected of involvement in the kidnapping scheme.

Chances of winning: As another ex-LDP Adachi-ku assemblyman without official party backing, he does not seem to stand much of a chance. His effect on the election may be to take more of the conservative vote from LDP members. To help distinguish himself he’s prominently featured his wheelchair and pet dog in just about every photograph.

Something interesting: There might be something interesting about this guy, but if so it’s not on the Internet. Ichikawa seems to have a hard time maintaining any sort of web presence. His old site on Blogger promised to chronicle his “powerful” daily life as an assemblyman, but he never got past the test post. His Livedoor blog is also pretty sporadic.


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