Tokyo metro assembly poll slated for July 6

The election for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, which takes place every four years, will be held July 6, the Election Administration Commission of the Tokyo said Feb. 7.

The votes will be counted and the results will be announced the same day. Candidates will vie for the 127 assembly seats. The Tokyo election is drawing media attention because major national parties put a lot of energy into the race in the nation’s capital. The results of metropolitan assembly elections often serve as an indicator for upcoming national elections.

One of the focuses will be on the performance of the Democratic Party of Japan, which will face its first prefectural assembly election. Major local issues in the election will include financial difficulty and the tight metropolitan government budget, a controversial waterfront development project and the effects of the consumption tax hike effective April 1, observers say.

Attention will also focus on how Shinshinto, the main opposition party, fares in light of a scandal involving its former Upper House member, Tatsuo Tomobe, and a growing rift within the party.