Koike-backed Rookie Wins Tokyo Mayor Race

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tomoka Okubo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — An independent rookie candidate backed by the ruling camp and an opposition party in national politics, who was also supported by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, won Sunday’s mayoral election in Koto Ward, Tokyo.

Tomoka Okubo, a 52-year-old former Tokyo metropolitan government official backed by the Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner Komeito and the opposition Democratic Party for the People, defeated her four independent contenders.

She was also recommended by Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites first group), a regional political party for which Koike serves as special adviser.

The election was held after the previous mayor, Yayoi Kimura, resigned last month over her alleged violation of the public offices election law during her campaigning for the mayoral race in April.

Voter turnout in the latest mayoral election stood at a record low of 39.20%.

Okubo highlighted her experience in welfare administration as a metropolitan government official.

Her contenders included Natsumi Sakai, 37, a former Koto Ward assembly member who was backed by four opposition parties in national politics — the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Japanese Communist Party, Reiwa Shinsengumi and the Social Democratic Party.