March 12, 2017
Yuriko Koike Wins by an Overwhelming Margin
In the vote that was conducted on July 31st, Yuriko Koike was elected to Governor of Tokyo, receiving the highest number of votes among all 21 candidates, 2912628 votes . This is the first time that a woman has become the Governor of Tokyo. Despite the fact that Koike is an LDP member, she ran in the election without her party’s endorsement. The candidate that came in second place was Hiroya Masuda who was endorsed by the LDP. Masuda won 1793453 votes, which is a startling 1119175 fewer than Koike received.
Koike’s victory seems to create complications within the LDP as she was engaged with an internal party struggle with Toren, the Tokyo Division of the LDP during the campaign.
Following her victory, among the LDP members opinions that demand that Koike be ousted from the party have arisen. After thorough discussion the LDP decided not to act upon these opinions. This is in light of the overwhelming votes that she won there are worries about the effect this move could have on public opinion regarding the party.
The candidate in third place was Shuntaro Torigoe. Torigoe was endorsed by the opposition parties and received 1346103 votes. During campaigning a scandal with a 20 year old female college student was reported by two tabloids. Although Torigoe categorically denied the scandal in written announcements and filed criminal complaints against the tabloids, putting forward that the articles contained false information, he did not speak much about the scandals in public. It seems that this hurt his public image. The fourth place candidate was Takashi Uesugi who obtained 179631 votes. Uesugi is the CEO of NO BORDER, a company that distributes news online. He primarily works on the internet. He is quite popular online and his number of Twitter followers is the highest of all candidates, including winning candidate Yuriko Koike. Uesugi coming in fourth place makes evident the fact the influence of online news media is rising and has had an undeniable impact on the election. In fifth place was Makoto Sakurai who was the chairman of the far right wing organization Zaitoku-kai (between the years 2006 and 2014). This organization is well known for its hate speeches targeting Chinese and Korean Japanese people living in Japan. Sakurai won 114171 votes, and this figure lends credence to the idea that there are certain number of Tokyoites who share far right wing views.