Okinawa is ambiguous. It is an idyllic, subtropical vacation spot in the eyes of most Japanese as well as the site of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, the largest land-sea-air battle of World War II.
“This is a historic election,” pronounced the morning newscaster. “This country is going to change,” announced a political leader. He posed in front of campaign posters that read, “This is change we can believe in.” To an American audience, these phrases would immediately conjure up images of President Barack Obama’s election in November 2008. But here they referred to Japan’s lower house elections on August 30 2009, leading to Yukio Hatoyama’s victory on September 16 as the new prime minister.