Koji Matsui Wins 1st Term as Kyoto Mayor

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Koji Matsui in Kyoto on Feb. 4.

Kyoto (Jiji Press)—Former Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koji Matsui won Sunday’s mayoral election in Kyoto, defeating his four rival candidates.

Matsui, 63, secured his first four-year term as mayor of the major city in western Japan.

While running in the election as an independent, Matsui received support from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner, Komeito, the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People, an opposition party.

Matsui garnered 177,454 votes, against 161,203 votes for runner-up Kazuhito Fukuyama, a 62-year-old lawyer. Fukuyama ran as an independent and was backed by the Japanese Communist Party.

During his campaigning, Matsui highlighted his achievements as deputy chief cabinet secretary under the government led by the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan.

He vowed to reconstruct the city’s tattered finances as well as to promote community development through cooperation between the Kyoto municipal and prefectural governments.

Incumbent Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa, who is set to retire at the end of his current term, and Takatoshi Nishiwaki, governor of Kyoto Prefecture, supported Matsui.

Fukuyama called for balancing fiscal reconstruction and social welfare services, and reviewing a planned extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train line.

He also criticized the LDP, which backed Matsui, for its high-profile slush fund scandal, while receiving support from JCP leader Tomoko Tamura, who took office recently. But Fukuyama was unable to overtake Matsui.

Voter turnout came to 41.67 pct, up from 40.71 pct in the previous Kyoto mayoral election in 2020.