Pune-born becomes first Indian to win elections in Japan
The 41-Year-Old Puranik Yogendra got elected to the Edogawa Ward Assembly in Tokyo making him the first Indian to contest and win an election in Japan. The naturalized Japanese, secured 6,477 votes, the fifth highest of the 226,561 valid ballots cast, in the April 21 elections.
He won from the Edogawa Ward which has nearly 4,300 of Indian-origin people, the highest number among Tokyo's 23 Wards. With more than 34,000 Indians living in Japan, Indian nationals register about 10 per cent of the total population. Backed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Puranik Yogendra says that he wants to be a bridge between Japanese and foreigners.
Puranik Yogendra first arrived in Japan in 1997 as a university student in India. He returned two years later, and in 2001 went back to Japan to work as an engineer. He later worked for a bank and other companies and has resided in Edogawa Ward since 2005, according to the Japanese newspaper. Since 2005, he has been a resident of Edogawa Ward doing his bit for the victims along with his friends.
However, his attachment with Japan strengthened after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster while visiting affected areas on weekends to cook curry with Indian friends from Edogawa Ward to share with victims. “I felt the time had come for me to become Japanese,” he said. “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,” he added.