Obama, the namesake town in Japan, is rooting fervently for U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama. The town’s mayor sent him some gifts a year ago and Obama has finally sent the mayor a thank-you letter.
The town of Obama is 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Tokyo and has a population of 32,000. Ever since Obama announced to run for the president, the town has been cheering for him. The citizens in the Japanese town have made headbands, T-shirts and cakes decorated with his portrait. A year ago, the town’s mayor sent him some gifts.
Because of a busy political schedule, Obama couldn’t respond quickly but he sent them a thank-you letter recently to the town’s mayor.
Mayor Toshio Murakami said Tuesday he received a letter the day before, in response to a letter, DVD and lacquer-ware chopsticks he had sent to Obama. In the letter Obama said the following:
"I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the city of Obama for your support and encouragement and thank you for your thoughtful gift…We share more than a common name…We share a common planet and common responsibility. I look forward to a future marked by the continued friendship of our two great nations and shared commitment to a better, freer world."
Some town officials wondered whether the real Obama sent this letter. Sadazkazy Tsubochi, a city hall official, said the letter came from the same address where they had sent the package initially and the letter bore Obama's handwritten signature.
The Mayor Toshio Murakami said at the press conference about this letter:
I have the impression that he is sincere…Once the people of Obama have learned about the letter, I am sure they will feel more friendly to him and cheer for the candidate.
Obama in Japanese means “Little Beach."
The people in the town are planning to watch the live broadcast of Tuesday’s primary results.
Will their support be enough for Obama to win the crucial primaries in Texas and Ohio? If he wins, hopefully he will make a trip to Japan to offer his thanks in person.