Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa Wins Reelection, Apologizes Over Recently Disclosed Affair

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa receives a bouquet of flowers with a serious expression in Yokohama City on Sunday night.

Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa, 68, was reelected in Sunday’s gubernatorial race, defeating three newcomers to win his fourth term.

During the campaign, Kuroiwa touted his achievements during his 12 years in office, including his efforts to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Garnering broad support from voters regardless of party affiliation, Kuroiwa was in a strong position as Sunday’s race approached.

However, in the final stage of the campaign period, the weekly Bunshun magazine reported that Kuroiwa had an affair with a woman he met while he was working as an anchor at a commercial TV broadcaster. The affair lasted for 11 years, until shortly after he became governor in 2011.

Kuroiwa said he has not engaged in any inappropriate relationships since then. He admitted the truth at a press conference Thursday, apologized and canceled part of his campaign activities.

Even after Kuroiwa became certain to win the race on Sunday evening, no one at his office in Yokohama raised their arms in the customary gesture of celebration.

“I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for any discomfort I have caused you,” said Kuroiwa as he bowed to his supporters with a grim expression on his face. “Through my work, I want to regain the trust I have lost.”