135. Memorandum From Alfred Jenkins of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow)1
- Okinawa Election Results
The Yara victory can only be read as a vote to speed up reversion.2 We are likely to have somewhat increased troubles in administering the Islands. Just how much is hard to say at this point—it could rage from very difficult to mildly troublesome. We can work with Yara, and now that he is elected he may have a tendency to recognize most of the pragmatic realities of life. The problem will be with some of the extremists around him, who are better organizers than he is.
We did as much as we dared to influence the elections toward the conservatives. The outcome is probably just the inevitable indication of restiveness after twenty plus years of alien administration.
The outcome in the legislature will at least be a tempering factor.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Ryukyu Islands, Vol. I, January 1964 to November 1968. Confidential.↩
- Chobyo Yara won 53.5 percent of the popular vote and defeated Nishime by 31,564 votes. OLDP candidates won 18 of 32 seats in the legislature, although opposition candidates won 52 percent of the votes cast. In a November 23 memorandum to Rusk, Hughes postulated that Yara’s victory derived from “the widespread respect and affection for him as a courageous and honest educator, the political muscle of his own Teachers Association, the unity of opposition support for his candidacy,” and from “popular feeling that a new administration might mean cleaner government.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 19 RYU IS)↩