Shizuoka By-Election Campaigns Kick Off amid Coronavirus Spread

Politics

Shizuoka, April 14 (Jiji Press)--Candidates officially started campaigning for the April 26 House of Representatives by-election in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's handling of the coronavirus crisis seen to be tested.

The Lower House by-election in the Shizuoka No. 4 constituency, which follows the death in December of former Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki, a lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is the first parliamentary poll in the country this year.

Shizuoka is located southwest of the greater Tokyo area, including Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama, four of the seven prefectures subject to a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus that was declared by the prime minister a week ago.

The by-election is expected to see an effective one-on-one battle between former Shizuoka prefectural assembly member Yoichi Fukazawa, 43, endorsed by the LDP, and former Tokyo metropolitan assembly member Ken Tanaka, 42, backed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and three other opposition parties.

The Shizuoka poll will also be a litmus test for cooperation among the four opposition parties eyeing the next general election for the all-important lower chamber of the Diet.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press