The list for the possible candidates for the Tokyo gubernatorial race keeps getting longer and more interesting. Reports say former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa is considering throwing his hat into the race, with the elections set for February 9, after the resignation of Naoki Inose last month, due to electoral fraud issues.
Sources close to the 75-year-old Hosokawa says he will be running as an independent candidate but will probably be seeking the support of another former Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumu, due to their similar anti-nuclear stance. Hosokawa will be proposing to end nuclear power generation in light of the danger experienced during the meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in 2011. If his candidacy is confirmed, it might affect the power balance as he will also be looking to get the support of other opposition parties who are also anti-nuclear, including the Democratic Party of Japan and the People’s Life Party.
Hosokawa, who led the Japan New Party before and served as prime minister from between August 1993 and April 1994, might also get the endorsement of the Japan Restoration Party as lawmakers who belonged to his former party expressed interest in supporting his campaign. He has not held a position in politics since he resigned from the House of Representatives in May 1998 but became an antinuclear advocate after the disaster in 2011.
The ruling bloc of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito are moving towards supporting former health minister Yoichi Masuzoe but if Koizumi,still a popular figure within the LDP and the public, decides to support Hosokawa, some members might be persuaded to shift their support. Others who have already expressed their intention to run are former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations Kenji Utsunomiya and former Air Self-Defense Force chief Toshio Tamogami. The campaign for the Tokyo gubernatorial elections will officially start on January 23.
[ via Mainichi ]