Koike attributes former secretary’s defeat to lack of name recognition

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Chiharu Araki answers questions from reporters early Monday morning in Tokyo, following her loss in the House of Councillors election.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said her former secretary was defeated in the Tokyo constituency in the House of Councillors election because the secretary did not have sufficient name recognition.

Chiharu Araki was first elected to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in 2017 and became the leader of Tomin First no Kai, a regional political party for which Koike is a special adviser.

Araki, 40, ran in the latest upper house election after resigning from the Tokyo assembly. She focused during her campaign on her close cooperation with the Tokyo government, but suffered a crushing defeat, receiving only about 280,000 votes.

“Many people recognized me, but not as many were aware of the relationship between Ms. Araki and me,” Koike said Monday.

As to what course Araki should take now, Koike said only, “I think she should consider it calmly and seriously.”

Araki is still the head of Tomin First, which held a liason meeting Monday to report the upper house election results to party members. According to a party executive, Araki attended the meeting but did not say whether she would step down as leader.