On April 12, Koto Ward Mayor Takaaki Yamazaki (79 years old) passed away due to acute renal failure caused by bladder cancer. 16th was the announced date of the Koto Ward Mayor election, and the sudden news of his death four days before the election has created an unusual mood among the political circles in Koto Ward.
Mayor Yamazaki, who was first elected in 2007 after serving as a ward councilor and a Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member, had won his fourth term, and had announced his candidacy for a fifth term, but on March 27 he announced his retirement, saying that he had been taken to an emergency room.
He is said to have had a close relationship with Shigeru Uchida, former secretary-general of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly (deceased), who was revered as the “Don” of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, and although the truth is not known, he was deeply involved in the construction, operation, and management of the Tokyo Olympics, the relocation of the market from Tsukiji to Toyosu, the extension of the subway line 8, and other major public projects. There were various rumors that he may have been deeply involved in major public works projects such as the construction, operation, and management of the Tokyo Olympics, the relocation of the market from Tsukiji to Toyosu, and the extension of the 8th subway line. He was also close to former ward assembly chairman Yuichi Enomoto, who was arrested last July on charges of bribery, and his relationship with a cleaning company was also discussed, but his sudden death will probably make it all go away,” said a metropolitan government reporter.
(Tokyo Metropolitan Government reporter). As a big-name ward mayor, he was able to reflect his own opinions in Tokyo politics and Nagatacho. Currently, the post of LDP branch chief for Tokyo’s 15th ward (Koto-ku) remains vacant. In the last lower house election in 2009, Kakizawa Mito (52), who ran as an independent, defeated a candidate supported by the LDP and was additionally approved to join the LDP. However, he is still not a member of the LDP’s Tokyo Metropolitan Federation and is in the custody of the Yamagata Prefectural Federation. An official with the Tokyo Metropolitan Federation tells the inside story.
Kōichi Hagiuda, the head of the Tokyo Metropolitan Federation, who was good friends with Yamazaki, requested Kakizawa’s cooperation in the ward mayor election. When Mr. Kakizawa refused, Mr. Hagiuda threatened him in a loud voice that could be heard outside, saying, ‘If you can’t do it, I can have a member of the House of Councilors transferred to the 15th ward,’ referring to Tamayo Marukawa. If Mr. Kakizawa did not agree, he also shouted, ‘We will decide the post of branch chief of the 15th district by open recruitment.
Immediately after the death of Mr. Yamazaki, his eldest son, Kazuki (50), officially announced his candidacy for the mayor’s election. Although the press conference was held six hours after his sudden death, Kazuteru was not sentimental about his father’s death, and he gave an unaffected response, avoiding the term “mourning election.
My father was a strict man, and I grew up watching his back,” he remembered.
He was remembered as a “good man. However, when asked about his personal use of the Wakasu Golf Links, which Friday Digital is pursuing, he did not respond sincerely, saying, “It is not true” and “I refrain from giving an answer.
The candidates running for ward mayor include Yayoi Kimura, 57, a former member of the House of Representatives (Kyoto Ward 3, etc.), Reiko Ashizawa, 60, an independent newcomer who is a home-care helper supported by the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, and Takashi Ino, 58, a former IRS official, who is also an independent newcomer.
Mr. Kimura, who is considered a strong candidate, has strong backing from his father, Tsutomu Kimura (83), who once served as a member of the House of Representatives in Tokyo’s 15th district. In addition, Mr. Kimura and Mr. Kimura belong to the Liberal Democratic Party and have overlapping supporters.
When the press pointed out the conservative split, Kazuki said, “I have received the official endorsement of the LDP. （I have never even spoken to Kimura,” he said with a hint of hostility.
Kazuteru said he had received a formal endorsement. However, a Koto Ward assemblyman leaked the situation to the public, saying that preliminary analysis showed that Mr. Kazuteru had a disadvantage.
He said, “The sympathy vote will flow to Mr. Kazuki in the mourning election, but the Komeito vote, which is estimated at 30,000, will be voluntary, and most of it is expected to go to Mr. Kimura. He has lost his father, who was behind him, and some of his supporters are leaving because of the replacement. In addition, Mr. Kazuki’s qualities are also a stumbling block,” said a member of the ward assembly.
Perhaps because he spent his school days playing baseball and running track, he dropped out of Tokai University’s Department of Physical Education. Politicians do not need to be highly educated. However, Ikki’s misreading of kanji characters in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly is a well-known story among those involved. A Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member said with a sigh.
His misreading of kanji in the assembly is really bad. The word “kusatte” is “to be” but was misread as “shishite,” and the word “mongon” is “mongon” but was once misread as “bungen. He misread characters that even junior high school students can read. No one can indeed advise me to get furigana put in my questions (smiles).
It is wonderful that he tries to express himself in his own words without relying on others, but a politician is a profession where “words are vital. I only wish they would do a little better in their preparation, such as preliminary reading and confirmation prior to publication.
Interview and text by： Daisuke Iwasaki