Japan’s Oldest Mayor, 89, Decides Not to Run for His 10th Term; Incumbent 1st Elected in 1988

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Izumozaki Mayor Noriyuki Kobayashi, 89, the oldest mayor in Japan, is photographed in December 2019.

An 89-year-old mayor, the oldest in Japan, has decided not to run in the next mayoral election, retracting his earlier announcement to aim for a 10th term, he said Tuesday.

Noriyuki Kobayashi, mayor of Izumozaki, Niigata Prefecture, will hold a press conference to make the announcement Wednesday.

Kobayashi cited the fact that there are other candidates planning to run for the post as the reason for his decision.

“I would like to gracefully and courageously retire, minimize the upheaval and pass the baton to the younger generation,” he said.

The mayoral election campaign will start Jan. 16, with voting to take place Jan. 21.

Kobayashi was first elected in 1988.