Morisawa wins Shinagawa Ward mayoral election rerun in Japan capital

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kyoko Morisawa is seen after a rerun of the Shinagawa Ward mayoral election on Sunday.

Former Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member Kyoko Morisawa won a rerun of the Shinagawa Ward mayoral election on Sunday.

It was the nation’s seventh case of a rerun to elect a local government head after all candidates failed to garner the minimum required number of ballots: one-fourth of the total number of valid votes cast, as stipulated in the Public Offices Election Law.

The Shinagawa election was contested by six newcomers as the incumbent did not run for reelection. However, in the initial election, held Oct. 2, no candidate reached the minimum ballot count.

In Sunday’s rerun, Morisawa, a never-before-elected independent candidate, defeated the five other candidates, including Hideo Ishida, a 63-year-old former Shinagawa Ward assembly member backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Voter turnout was 32.44%, down from 35.22% for the first election.

In the initial round, Morisawa, 44, earned 27,759 votes — the most among the candidates — but 590 short of the minimum required.

The rerun campaign kicked off on Nov. 27 with the potential to spill over into a Japan-first third election to choose a local government head. However, Morisawa earned more than 40,000 votes, enough to install her as new mayor.