Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike Wins Third Straight Term; Voters Respond to Achievements in Child Care, Education

Jiji Press
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike holds a bouquet of flowers after learning of her projected victory on Sunday night in Tokyo.

Incumbent Yuriko Koike won the Tokyo gubernatorial election on Sunday, in which the 71-year-old governor ran for a third term, according to Yomiuri Shimbun projections.

After learning of her projected win, Koike appeared before her supporters on Sunday night and said with a smile, “I will upgrade the Tokyo grand reform.”

Koike garnered voters’ support by highlighting her achievements, including reducing the number of children on waiting lists for day-care centers by 96% as well as making high school education effectively free. The governor also emphasized her focus on countermeasures against disasters.

A record 56 candidates ran in Sunday’s race. Former House of Councillors member Renho, 56; Shinji Ishimaru, 41, a former mayor of Akitakata, Hiroshima Prefecture; and former Air Self-Defense Force chief Toshio Tamogami, 75, were among those challenging the incumbent.

With a population of about 14 million, Tokyo has about 11.53 million voters, making the Tokyo gubernatorial election the largest governor’s race in the nation.

Voting began at 7 a.m. at about 1,800 polling stations in Tokyo and closed at 8 p.m., with the exception of certain locations such as the Izu Island chain. Ballot counting also took place on the same day.

Voting for the Tokyo metropolitan assembly by-elections was also held Sunday. A total of 30 candidates ran for nine electoral districts.