LDP “Retaining Akiko Ikuina for the Upper House Election” but not at all reassuring | FRIDAY DIGITAL

LDP “Retaining Akiko Ikuina for the Upper House Election” but not at all reassuring

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The Tokyo electoral district (the most electoral districts in Japan with a total of six) is beginning to be expected to be crowded in the summer House of Councillors election that will decide the fate of the Kishida administration. This is because an unexpected person has announced his candidacy.

Mr. Ikuta said that he was approached by Secretary-General Seko at the beginning of March about running for office.

In the House of Councillors election of 2004, the LDP won two seats, the Constitutional Democratic Party two, the New Komeito one, and the Communist Party one, and this time, with the Japan Restoration Association, the First Association based on the regional party “Tomin First no Kai,” and the newly elected Reiwa group having announced their candidacy, a fierce battle is inevitable.

The LDP’s Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly is planning to field a second candidate, Akiko Ikuina, 53, a former member of the Onyanko Club, to secure victory.

However, some are wondering if it will be that easy. A senior official of the Tokyo Metropolitan Federation of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said.

A senior official of the Tokyo Metropolitan Federation of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) revealed, “These days, voters are very strict about candidates who run for office on the basis of name recognition, asking whether they can easily serve as candidates or whether they are just looking for celebrity votes. Debates are also held during the election period, and these days, personal qualities are also brought to light through social networking sites. In such a difficult election, it remains to be seen whether the celebrity candidates will be able to be resourceful. We are concerned that Governor Koike (Yuriko), who knows when the time is right, could steal the conservative vote.

This senior official stated, “The decision to retain Mr. Ikura was made by four people: Koichi Hagiuda, president of the Tokyo Metropolitan Federation of Trade Unions; Tamayo Marukawa, acting president; Naoki Takashima, secretary general; and Hiroshige Seko, secretary general of the LDP House of Councillors,” and continued, “The decision to retain Mr. Ikura was made by four people.

The first of the two candidates running from the LDP is incumbent Kentaro Asahi. As the second, the incumbent, Masaharu Nakagawa, 75, will retire before this election, so it was necessary to coordinate his replacement. So, Seko stepped up to the plate and said, ‘The replacement candidate will be decided on the initiative of the Seiwa-kai. Based on a list of women who had served on government and ministry committees, he and Mr. Marukawa worked together to make phone calls to those women to ask them to run for office.”

A second candidate, Takako Zenba, formerly of NHK, Chino Kikuma, formerly of Fuji Television, Yuko Ando, and Momoko Kikuchi, were mentioned as possible candidates, but they were forced to abandon the idea.

He revealed, “I haven’t looked at the online response for a few days now because it’s been too painful.”

The reason I stuck with a female candidate was because I was aware of the recent trend that the incumbent, Kentaro Asahi, former Parliamentary Secretary for National Land and Infrastructure, is a man, so the other one should be a woman.” In addition, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori tried to prevent former Diet members who had lost in the previous lower house election from being pushed into the upper house election by saying, ‘How about having Nobuaki Ishihara become the second person to run for the upper house?

After losing the last lower house election, Mr. Ishihara was given the position of cabinet counselor by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, but resigned over the issue of the political party branch he represented receiving 600,000 yen in subsidies to fight the new coronavirus. Mori, however, wanted to refuse the offer, saying, “We are looking for a woman this time,” so as not to tarnish the former prime minister’s face.

The aforementioned executive explained the inside story as follows.

The LDP has been aiming to secure two seats in Tokyo in the Upper House election. The LDP has been successful in its ‘battle on the ground and in the air’ between a candidate who has administrative and political experience and can solidify various groups and a candidate who can use name recognition as a weapon to create wind and attract floating votes. Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Kan is backing Asahi, who is seeking reelection this time, to solidify his organization of construction companies, but Kan is based in Kanagawa Prefecture. Asahi’s strategy must be to use his name recognition as a former Japanese beach volleyball team representative at the Olympics to capture the floating vote.

If he backs a former idol as the second candidate, both will be dependent on the floating vote. Even if they do not collapse together, it may be difficult for both to win the election. Vice President Taro Aso, concerned about this, asked, “Is the scandal going to be a problem? There was even a suggestion that, “Why don’t you choose one from among those who have been chief of a city or a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, without regard to gender? Mr. Nakagawa, the former vice minister of the environment who has retired, is said to have said, ‘If this is the way it is going to be, I should have done another term.

Even LDP Secretary General Toshimitsu Mogi, who is in charge of LDP elections, has stated that he is “not involved” in the messy selection of candidates and has left the task to the Tokyo Metropolitan Federation of Trade Unions.

He also said, “I am aware that there are people who wonder if Ikina is capable of the job.”

While the Tokyo Metropolitan Federation was shaken internally, on March 1, Chiho Araki, 40, a representative of the Tomin First Association, announced his candidacy from the First Association. Araki is a former secretary to Governor Koike and lived with the governor at his home. There is a good chance that he will be the eye of the typhoon.

The three slots are solid: one for Komei, one for Communist Party, and one for Renho of the Constitutional Party. The remaining three slots will be fought over by Asahi, Ikina, Araki, and the candidates of the Restoration Party.

On April 1, when we directly interviewed Mr. Asahi, one of the candidates, he stated.

Tokyo has a large number of independents, and it is impossible to tell who the winds will blow for whom until the day of the election. We intend to strengthen our organization and boost (the independents), but we don’t know if the flow will come. Mr. Ikina is not yet an official candidate, but there is a fear that his support base may overlap with the others. I have a strong sense of urgency that I myself must do my best.”

A celebrity can win – will such a naive election continue? The preliminaries to the midsummer slugfest have already begun.

Akiko Ikuina, who has appeared in the LDP’s PR magazine in the past
  • Interview and text Daisuke Iwasaki

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