Speculation Swirls, Will Governor Yuriko Koike Enter Tokyo 15th Constituency By-Election in April? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Speculation Swirls, Will Governor Yuriko Koike Enter Tokyo 15th Constituency By-Election in April?

Her term expires in July, and the "political migratory bird" will finally return to national politics?

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On this day, Governor Koike spoke at a gathering of Araki Chiharu, former Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member of Tomin First no Kai, who was her former secretary. She eloquently spoke about disaster prevention and the budget of the city.

“We are currently deliberating the budget. We are devoting ourselves to metropolitan administration.”

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (71), who attended the regular press conference on March 8, responded vigorously.

However, a political reporter from a national newspaper chuckled, saying, “You shouldn’t take this statement at face value.”

“It is said that Governor Koike may run in the House of Representatives by-election scheduled for April 16th, with voting on the 28th. The election district is Tokyo’s 15th district, which was the stronghold of the resigned candidate, Mito Kakiwaza (53). With weak opponents, if she runs, her victory is certain. Since March, there have been voices from the Nagatacho circles saying, ‘It’s confirmed information,’ ‘The LDP and Komeito have solidified their support for Koike.”

In the December mayoral election in Koto Ward and the January mayoral election in Hachioji City, the candidates endorsed and supported by the LDP and Komeito were elected with the support of the Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites First) party, according to sources from the Tokyo LDP.

“In particular, in the Hachioji mayoral election, it is widely believed within the Tokyo LDP that we won thanks to Koike’s support. Recently, KoichiHagiuda, the chairman of the Tokyo LDP, has been meeting with her repeatedly. It’s likely that this is to field Koike, who is strong in elections, in the 15th district.”


On March 17th, when asked if she would run in the by-election from Tokyo’s 15th district and return to national politics during a Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites First) party gathering, Governor Koike showed only a suggestive smile.


“The situation where Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa (71) and Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Sanae Takaichi (63) are said to be the first female prime minister candidates is not amusing for Koike. There’s no way she intends to end her career as governor,” said political journalist Koichi Kakutani.


The governor’s term lasts until July. Even if she runs in the by-election, there’s little chance she’ll be criticized for “abandoning her term midway.” The movements of this politically astute “political migratory bird” are being watched closely.

The unpublished excerpt: “Governor Yuriko Koike, direct question! ‘Will you run in the April Tokyo 15th district by-election?'”

From the April 5 and 12, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Shima Sota

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