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日本东京都知事选举,一场民主“闹剧”?

MOTOKO RICH, KIUKO NOTOYA

2024年7月8日

展示东京都知事候选人的选举海报。 Richard A. Brooks/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

When voters in Tokyo cast their ballot for governor of the world’s largest city on Sunday, they were spoiled for choice.

周日,当东京选民投票选举世界最大城市的知事时,他们的选项有很多。

Fifty-six candidates contended for the office, a record. One who styled himself “the Joker” proposed legalizing marijuana and said polygamy could address the nation’s declining birthrate. Another was a pro wrestler who hid his face on camera and vowed to use artificial intelligence to complete governmental tasks. There was a 96-year-old inventor who said he would deploy gas-fueled cars that do not emit carbon, and a 31-year-old entrepreneur who took off her shirt during a campaign video and promised “fun things.”

共有56名候选人角逐该职位,创下了纪录。一个自称“小丑”的人提议大麻合法化,并表示一夫多妻制可以解决国家出生率下降的问题。另一位是职业摔跤手,他在镜头前隐藏了自己的脸,誓言要用人工智能来完成政府任务。一位96岁的发明家表示,他将推出不排放碳的汽油燃料汽车,还有一位31岁的企业家在竞选视频中脱下衬衫,承诺要做“有趣的事”。

It might look like democracy run amok. But in fact, the race was profoundly status quo, and the incumbent, Yuriko Koike, as expected, won a third term.

这看起来像是民主失控了。但事实上,这场竞选完全维持了现状,现任知事小池百合子不出所料地赢得了第三个任期。

Ms. Koike’s victory provided a much-needed shot in the arm for the governing Liberal Democratic Party, which had backed her in the race. Approval ratings have been falling for the party, and the Tokyo governor’s election was viewed in part as a referendum on the national government’s popularity.

小池的胜利为支持她参选的执政党自民党注入了一剂急需的强心针。自民党的支持率一直在下降,东京都知事的选举在一定程度上被视为对日本政府民望的全民公决。

The proliferation of candidates could reflect fatigue with politics as usual, but many of the hopefuls were also unserious attention seekers, creating a farcical, circuslike atmosphere and putting real change further out of reach.

候选人的激增可能反映出人们对政治一如既往的厌倦,但许多只为了获得关注的参选者并不是真心竞选,这就制造了一种闹剧般的气氛,使得真正的变革更加遥不可及。

“I wonder if this is democracy in action, or whether it’s like an ‘up yours’ to democracy,” said Emma Dalton, a senior lecturer in Japanese Studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Multiple candidates have criticized the incumbent, Ms. Koike, “in the most vulgar way,” said Ms. Dalton, speaking before the election. “Because they know she’s going to win.”

澳大利亚墨尔本乐卓博大学日本研究高级讲师艾玛·道尔顿说:“我不知道这究竟是民主在发挥作用,还是在对民主说‘去你的吧’。”,多名候选人以“最粗俗的方式”批评了现任知事小池百合子。“因为他们知道她会赢,”道尔顿在选举前说。

07japan governor 02 lpcq master1050现任东京都知事小池百合子上周六发表演讲。她很有可能赢得连任。

The Tokyo election was emblematic of Japanese politics, where at the national level the Liberal Democrats have governed for all but four years since 1955. The party has held an iron grip on Japan’s Parliament, despite numerous scandals and widespread voter dissatisfaction that is expressed in polls but rarely at the ballot box.

东京的选举是日本政治的缩影。自1955年以来,在全国范围内,自民党除四年以外一直执政。自民党一直牢牢控制着日本议会,尽管有许多丑闻,选民也普遍在民意调查中表达不满,但很少在投票时体现出来。

Ms. Koike, 71, was dogged by questions about her university credentials and refused to address accusations that she is connected to a large real estate developer involved in several controversial projects. But just as the Liberal Democrats stay in power despite low approval ratings, she may have benefited from a feeling that there was no need to upset the apple cart at a time of relative prosperity.

今年71岁的小池百合子的大学学历一直受到质疑,她拒绝回应有关她与一家大型房地产开发商有关联的指控,该开发商参与了几个有争议的项目。但是,正如自民党在低支持率的情况下仍然继续执政一样,她也可能受益于一种感觉——在相对繁荣的时期,没有必要制造麻烦

Despite some widening inequality and pockets of poverty, “most middle-class citizens are satisfied with their lives in Tokyo,” said Jiro Yamaguchi, a political scientist at Hosei University in Tokyo.

东京法政大学政治学家山口二郎说,尽管不平等和贫困现象在不断扩大,“大多数中产阶级公民对他们在东京的生活感到满意。”

Although Ms. Koike has not entirely delivered on promises to eliminate day care waiting lists, reduce commuter train congestion and abolish overtime among municipal workers, she has used a budget surplus to provide subsidies for families with children and free tuition to private high schools in the city.

虽然小池百合子没有完全兑现解决日托中心名额有限问题、减少通勤列车拥堵和取消市政工人加班的承诺,但她利用预算盈余为有孩子的家庭提供补贴,并提供入读该市私立高中的学费。

Ms. Koike did not grant an interview request. Mitsui Fudosan, the developer involved in the building projects, said in an email that it had “no close relationship” with the governor and had not “been provided any special favors.”

小池百合子拒绝了采访请求。参与争议建筑项目的开发商三井不动产在电子邮件中表示,该公司与知事“没有密切关系”,也没有“得到任何特殊照顾”。

At first, Ms. Koike seemed to face a serious challenge: Renho Saito, 56, a former leader of Japan’s largest opposition party, stepped down from her parliamentary seat to run. But the lineup of so many candidates distracted from her campaign.

起初,小池百合子似乎面临着严峻的挑战:日本最大反对党前党魁、56岁的莲舫辞去了议会席位,准备参加竞选。但是众多候选人分散了对她的关注。

07japan governor03 master1050莲舫(中)是日本最大反对党的前领导人。她辞去了议员职位,向小池百合子发起挑战。

As the first woman to lead the opposition Democratic Party, Ms. Saito is well known in Japan. She sought to distinguish herself from Ms. Koike by emphasizing the need to raise wages for young workers and to rein in government spending. But she also criticized the national party for financial scandals that have little to do with the Tokyo governorship.

莲舫曾是反对党民主党的首位女党魁,在日本家喻户晓。她试图强调提高年轻工人工资和控制政府支出的必要性,从而将自己与小池百合子区分开来。但她也批评了与东京都知事无关的自民党金融丑闻

Focusing on the national party is “an easy cudgel,” said Kenneth McElwain, a political scientist at the University of Tokyo. The danger is that “it’s a reason not to vote for Koike, but it’s also a reason to vote for any of the 50-odd challengers.”

东京大学的政治学家肯尼斯·麦克尔韦恩说,把注意力集中在自民党身上是个“省事的办法”。危险在于,“这是不投票给小池的理由,但也是投票给50多个挑战者中任何一个的理由。”

Other candidates took swings at the national government. Yusuke Kawai, who appeared in a campaign video on NHK, the public broadcaster, with stringy hair, face whitened and lips smeared red in a caricature of the Joker from the Batman franchise, lambasted Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for his plans to raise taxes.

其他候选人也对国家政府进行了抨击。河合悠佑在公共广播公司NHK的竞选视频中出现,头发蓬乱,脸涂成白色,嘴唇涂成红色,模仿《蝙蝠侠》系列中的小丑,猛烈抨击日本首相岸田文雄的增税计划。

“Prime Minister, before you raise taxes, make sure you sell that Rolex on your wrist!” he screeched, cackling maniacally and writhing on a desk.

“首相,在你增税之前,一定要把你手腕上的劳力士卖掉!”他尖叫道,狂笑着在桌子上扭动。

Campaign rules allow anyone who pays a deposit of about $19,000 to run for governor, and give each candidate two six-minute slots on NHK and the right to post signs on one of 14,000 official election billboards across the city.

竞选规则允许任何支付了约1.9万美元保证金的人竞选知事,并给予每位候选人两个六分钟的NHK播出时段,还有权在全市14000个官方竞选广告牌中的一个牌子上张贴标语。

Although the intent is to level the playing field for political participation, the system has been hijacked by people who want to reach a large audience with messages that might have little to do with politics.

尽管这样做的目的是为政治参与创造公平的竞争环境,但这个体系却被一些人用来向大量听众传达与政治无关的信息。

07japan governor 03 lpcq master1050“大多数中产阶级对他们在东京的生活感到满意,”东京法政大学的政治学家山口二郎说。

During a campaign broadcast on NHK, Airi Uchino, the young entrepreneur, removed a striped, button-down shirt to reveal her cleavage in a cream-colored tube top. “I’m not just cute,” she purred, inviting prospective voters to connect with her on Line, Japan’s popular messaging app. “I’m sexy, right?”

在NHK播出的一场竞选活动中,年轻的企业家内野爱里脱下条纹纽扣衬衫,露出乳白色背心下的乳沟。“我不仅可爱,”她低声柔和地说,邀请潜在的选民在日本流行的即时通讯应用Line上与她联系。“我还性感,对吧?”

Ms. Uchino is backed by the Party to Protect the People from NHK, a renegade group that is supporting close to half of those running for governor. The group has permitted its candidates and some others to post campaign posters featuring photos of cats or cartoon animals on the official election signboards.

内野爱里得到了“保护人民免受NHK侵害党”的支持,这是一个叛逆的组织,支持近一半的知事候选人。该组织允许其候选人和其他一些人在官方选举招牌上张贴印有猫或卡通动物照片的竞选海报。

Some candidates have used airtime to advance general opinions, such as opposing welfare benefits for foreign workers in Japan or transgender rights.

一些候选人利用直播时间发表一般性意见,比如反对在日外国工人的福利待遇,或者反对变性人的权利。

The sheer volume of candidates can muffle serious opposition. With all paid advertising banned, said Jeffrey J. Hall, a lecturer in politics at Kanda University of International Studies, “mainstream candidates can’t amplify their messages to the point where they drown out the voices of the minor candidates.”

候选人的数量之多足以压制强烈的反对声音。神田外语大学政治学讲师杰弗里·霍尔说,由于所有付费广告都被禁止,“主流候选人无法将自己的信息放大到能够淹没小候选人声音的程度。”

The disruption is evident. In polling, Ms. Saito appeared to be battling for second place with Shinji Ishimaru, 41, a former mayor of a city in Hiroshima Prefecture who described himself as an “idol” to supporters at a rally last week.

这种做法带来的干扰是显而易见的。在民意调查中,莲舫似乎要与41岁的石丸伸二争夺第二名。石丸进司是广岛县某市的前知事,他在上周的一次集会上说自己是支持者们的“偶像”。

Mr. Ishimaru has not offered much of a platform, but his popularity on TikTok and YouTube helped him win support from younger voters, and he came in second to Ms. Koike.

石丸拿不出什么竞选纲领,但他在TikTok和YouTube上的人气帮助他赢得了年轻选民的支持,他的得票率仅次于小池百合子。

07japan governor05 lwvq master1050上月在东京的一场竞选活动。竞选规则允许任何支付了约1.9万美元保证金的人竞选知事。

Such candidates represent Japan’s breed of populism, said Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo, adding that many of the “frivolouscandidates” don’t expect to win.

东京上智大学的政治学家中野晃一说,这样的候选人代表了日本的民粹主义。他还说,许多“不正经候选人”并不指望获胜。

“This is a day where notoriety is business,” Mr. Nakano said. “Having fame of any kind is going to lead to more business opportunities.”

“在这个时代,名声就是生意,”中野晃一说。“拥有任何形式的名气都会带来更多商机。”

As someone trying to lead a serious challenge, Ms. Saito faced voters driven less by support for her than by their loss of interest in the current governor.

作为一个试图领导一场严峻挑战的人,莲舫面对的选民与其说是支持她,不如说是对现任知事失去了兴趣。

Yumi Matsushita, a university lecturer attending one of Ms. Saito’s rallies in Chofu, said she did not like that Ms. Koike “does not respect” the voices of those from other ethnicities or L.G.B.T.Q. people.

参加了莲舫在调布市举行的一场集会的大学讲师松下由美(音)说,她不喜欢小池百合子“不尊重”其他种族或LGBTQ人群的态度。

But her real objection to Ms. Koike was that “a third term is too long.”

但她反对小池百合子的真正理由是“三个任期也太长了”。

As the incumbent, Ms. Koike had a large advantage: No previous occupant of the office had lost an election. She also benefited from a largely compliant news media. Though it has dug into rumors that she misrepresented her graduation from Cairo University, it has not investigated allegations that she has favored Mitsui Fudosan, the developer, in construction contracts.

作为现任知事,小池百合子有很大的优势:从未有在任知事在选举中失败过。她还得益于新闻媒体的顺从。媒体虽然对她谎报开罗大学毕业学历的传言进行了调查,但没有调查有关她在建筑合同中偏袒开发商三井不动产的指控。

One possible reason: Two of the country’s largest newspapers, the Yomiuri Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun, are investing in one of those building projects.

一个可能的原因是,日本最大的两家报纸《读卖新闻》和《朝日新闻》都投资了其中一个建筑项目。


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