Former Miyazaki Gov. Higashikokubaru to seek reelection

The Yomiuri Shimbu
Hideo Higashikokubaru speaks to reporters in Miyazaki City on Aug. 7.

MIYAZAKI — Former Miyazaki Gov. Hideo Higashikokubaru said Sunday in an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun that he would run in the next Miyazaki gubernatorial election slated for Dec. 25.

The 64-year-old comedian-turned-politician will hold a press conference at a hotel in Miyazaki City on Wednesday to formally declare his candidacy.

Campaigning for the gubernatorial election officially starts on Dec. 8, with election day on Dec. 25.

Higashikokubaru was first elected governor of Miyazaki in 2007. He left the office after serving a four-year term.

In late July, he told The Yomiuri Shimbun that he once more felt he had to do something about the prefecture’s declining presence nationally and its slipping name recognition.

In the gubernatorial race, incumbent Shunji Kono, 57, a former Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry official, has already announced his candidacy. Kono, who served as vice governor during Higashikokubaru’s tenure, is running for a fourth term.