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Tokyo: What do you think of Shintaro Ishihara’s decision to give up running the capital and start a new national party? Would you vote for him?

by Mark Buckton

Kohei Yoshimura 
Salesman, 27 (Japanese)
He did shirk his responsibility as governor of Tokyo but he has big ideas on how to improve the national government and Japan. If he waited until the end of his term as governor he would be too old, so I think he decided to quit at the right time. I would vote for him and his party at a general election.

Misako Okabe
University student, 21 (Japanese)
I think that he is the main troublemaker behind the ongoing (trouble with China and) Senkaku Island problem, so whilst maybe he did a good job and was a good leader for Tokyo, he is not the person to take the country forward.

Clive Poole
Publican, 49 (British)
I wouldn’t (vote for him). I think he’s popular with many Japanese as he shoots pretty much straight from the hip — not so popular with non-Japanese due to past comments about foreigners. A lot of people I know find the thought of him having his own party and possibly becoming PM scary.

Ayumi Hamada
Actress, 27 (Japanese)
I think Japan’s government needs a powerful politician who has strong views about the future, so I approve of his decision to resign his governorship. However, I don’t agree with his opinions on restarting the nuclear reactors, so I won’t vote for him.

Tatsuya Yokobori
Sales officer, 26 (Japanese)
He made a big decision when he quit the governorship, but I like him because he is very strong mentally and he is like Japanese men from years gone by. His actions are strong, and I would support him in a general election.

Kaori Yoda
Fire performer, 30 (American)
I wanted Ishihara to continue as governor as we need a person with charisma and leadership abilities, but it is no surprise he set up a new political party, and I think this caused (the DPJ) to call the election. Whatever happens to the new party, as long as Ishihara is in there, I’m going to support them.

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