Koike elected Tokyo’s 1st female governor

Yuriko Koike Kyodo News photo ==Kyodo

Yuriko Koike. Kyodo News photo

TOKYO — Former defense minister Yuriko Koike won July 31’s Tokyo gubernatorial election by a wide margin, becoming the first woman to lead the metropolis and taking on the goal of setting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics up for success.

Thanking her supporters in the evening after her victory was clear, Koike, 64, said, “While feeling the weight of this result, I want to thoroughly push the metropolitan government forward as the new governor.”

A record 21 candidates discussed their vision for the metropolis during the 17-day campaign period, including how to ensure success of the 2020 Games, and dealing with a shortage of facilities to care for Tokyo’s oldest and youngest residents. They also promised the prevention of money-related scandals like those that saw the previous two governors step down.

Koike defeated such leading candidates as former internal affairs minister Hiroya Masuda, 64, and former TV news anchorman Shuntaro Torigoe, 76.

With all ballots counted, she received 2.91 million votes, dwarfing Masuda’s 1.79 million votes and Torigoe’s 1.35 million votes. She is set to serve a four-year term as governor.

Koike, formerly a lawmaker with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, ran without the party’s endorsement, effectively splitting the LDP vote.

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