In good news, an Indian origin Japanese has been elected to Tokyo’s Edogawa ward assembly. The 41-year-old man called ‘Yogi’ is the first Indian to win any election in Japan.
Puranik Yogendra who is granted Japanese citizenship received 6,477 votes which is fifth highest of the 226,561 valid ballots cast in polls held on April 21 as part of the unified local elections held across the nation, Asahi Shimbun, a Japan daily, reported.
“I want to be a bridge between Japanese and foreigners,” said Yogi, who was backed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.
It has been learnt that Edogawa has an Indian population among the 23 wards in the Capital Tokyo and over 4,300 Indians registered the ward which adds up to 10% of approximately 34,000 Indians living in the country.
“This is the first victory of a naturalised Japanese of Indian origin in elections in Japan. This is also a recognition of contributions made by Indians towards the Japanese society,” Shamshad Khan, the author of ‘Changing Dynamics of India-Japan Relations’, added.
Yogi first came to Japan in the year 1997 when he was a University student in India. He then went back to India two years later to study and in 2001, he came back to Japan to ply his trade as an Engineer.
After that, he worked for a bank and other companies and has been living in Edogawa Ward since 2005.
“Japan is neat and everyone was kind,” Yogi said, remembering his early experiences.
He also believes that his relationship with his adopted home were cemented after the nation faced earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and he came to know more about the country when would visit the affected area on weekends to help the less unfortunate ones affected owing to two calamities.
The paper added that he would join with other Indian friends and help the victim by giving them food and during that course of meeting the victims, he drew a close affinity with the country and the people.
“I felt the time had come for me to become Japanese,” Yogi told. In 2012, he acquired Japanese nationality and pursued his career in politics.
“I want to be an assemblyman who can connect everyone regardless of nationality, age, or even disabilities, through my 20 years of living in Japan,” Yogi added.