FOCUS: Will Tokyo Gov. Koike Switch Back to National Politics?


Tokyo, July 18 (Jiji Press)--Speculation is slowly spreading both in the ruling and opposition camps that Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike may run in this year's House of Representatives election with the aim of becoming the first woman to take the post of prime minister of Japan.

The conjecture reflects Koike's enduring popularity with the electorate, demonstrated in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election in early July. In the election, Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoite first group), the regional political party for which Koike serves as special adviser, turned in a better-than-expected performance.

Some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are making advances to Koike, while the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan is keeping a wary watch over her course of action.

At a news conference on July 9, Koike stressed that she had no intention at all of returning to national politics. "(Such an idea) is nowhere in my mind," she said.

Many in the political world question the advisability of her returning to national politics. "She cannot leave the unfinished efforts to address the novel coronavirus crisis" as leader of the Japanese capital, a senior LDP official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press