The 41-year-old Indian-origin Japanese, nicknamed ‘Yogi’, wins election in Japan with 6,477 votes, a fifth highest of the 226,561 valid ballots that was conducted on April 21.
Puranik Yogendra becomes the first Indian to win Japan’s election after being designated to Tokyo’s Edogawa ward assembly. The 41-year-old goes by the nickname ‘Yogi’ who was backed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of the country.
According to a report by Japan daily, Yogendra secured 6,477 votes in the April 21 poll. The counting is a fifth highest of the 226,561 valid ballots, which was part of unified local elections held across Japan.
“I want to be a bridge between Japanese and foreigners,” said Yogendra. He was a university student from India when he first arrived in Japan in 1997. “Japan is neat and everyone was kind,” he added, recalling his early experiences.
Yogendra acquired Japanese nationality in 2012, after the earthquake and disaster that hit the country in 2011. He used to visit the affected areas and contribute his part. Since then, he felt a strong bond with the country and went on to pursue politics here.
“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,” said Yogendra.
Tokyo consists of 23 wards, among which Edogawa has the highest number of Indians residing, besides Chinese and Koreans. About 4,300 Indian residents are registered in the ward. This accounts to more than 10% of 34,000 Indians living in Japan. Yogendra has been living in Edogawa ward since 2005.