Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike Challenged by Renho

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike Challenged by Renho

Kanako Mita and Michiyo Tanabe

Modern Tokyo Times

The incumbent Tokyo Governor, Yuriko Koike, faces a stern challenge from Renhō Saitō. This concerns the upcoming gubernatorial election for the post of Tokyo Governor.

Renhō (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan) seeks to utilize enormous discontent against the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Accordingly, with Koike being connected with the LDP in the past, Renhō will attack the incumbent Tokyo Governor on this ground and the cozy relationship between Koike and the ruling LDP.

Renhō said, “I want the Koike administration, which has helped prolong the life of the Liberal Democratic Party, to be reset. It is my mission to lead it.”

Renhō continued, “I want to make a break with old politics and create a metropolitan government that allocates the budget to policies that are truly necessary.”

Alluding to Koike’s link to the LDP, Renhō said, “I will never forgive lawmakers (who received) slush fund money and the LDP whose politics (is linked to) money… I want to take an anti-LDP and non-Koike stance.”

Naturally, the Constitutional Democratic Party is going to support Renhō – along with the Japanese Communist Party.

Normally, Koike would be expected to win easily. However, the slush fund crisis engulfing the LDP entails that the ruling party recently lost several local elections. Accordingly, Renhō seeks to utilize anti-LDP sentiments in the upcoming election.

NHK reports, “Renho criticized the incumbent governor, asking what has become of Koike’s previous election promise to eliminate seven problems facing the Japanese capital.”

Lee Jay Walker (Modern Tokyo Times analyst) says, “The Tokyo gubernatorial election was viewed to be a shoo-in for Koike. However, with Renhō challenging Koike – and the current flush fund scandal engulfing the LDP – the election to be held in July will be closer than envisaged given the combative nature of Renho.”

A host of other candidates will also run.

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