Voting Underway for Tokyo Assembly Election

Politics

Tokyo, July 4 (Jiji Press)--Voting is underway at some 1,800 polling stations for a Tokyo metropolitan assembly election on Sunday, with a total of 271 candidates vying for 127 seats in 42 electoral districts.

The poll has been closely watched as a precursor to the next election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, which must be held by this autumn. The results of the Tokyo election will certainly affect Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's maneuvering on dissolving the Lower House and strategies of both the ruling and opposition parties for the general election.

Attention has been paid to whether the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner in national politics, can together secure a majority of the Tokyo assembly seats and whether regional party Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites first group), for which Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike works as special adviser, can maintain its position as the biggest force in the assembly.

The election comes as the 23 special wards and other areas of Tokyo have been in a novel coronavirus pre-emergency stage since June 21 after a state of emergency over the epidemic ended the preceding day for the whole of the Japanese capital.

Voting will end at 8 p.m. (11 a.m. GMT), except in some areas, and vote counting will start immediately after that. Voter turnout as of 3 p.m. stood at 18.12 pct, down from 23.81 pct in the previous Tokyo metropolitan assembly election.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press