Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike to run for second term in July

TOKYO — Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike plans to run for reelection on July 5, sources told Nikkei.

The sources say Koike might coincide the announcement with the last day of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly session, on June 10.

The Liberal Democratic Party has decided not to field a candidate.

Koike, once an LDP politician and a member of Japan’s parliament, became the capital’s first female governor in 2016, winning in a landslide, even after running without the LDP’s consent. As an independent, she received close to 3 million votes.

After her big win, Koike formed her own local party, the Tokyo Tomin First no Kai, now the largest parliamentary group within the metropolitan assembly.

Some of her achievements include establishing strict regulations on secondhand smoke. More recently, Koike made a name for herself by calling on people to refrain from going outside amid the coronavirus pandemic, even before the central government began making similar pleas.

In the past, Koike has collided with the LDP over relocating the Tsukiji fish market and in the selection of Tokyo Olympic venues.

The LDP looked for a candidate for the gubernatorial election before giving up, deciding it needs to prioritize cooperation with the capital on coronavirus measures. To avoid any conflict, the LDP abandoned fielding a candidate of its own.

The official campaign period for the election will start on June 18, with the vote on July 5.

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