Hideo Higashikokubaru, former governor of Miyazaki, plans to run in the Dec. 16 Tokyo gubernatorial election, Jiji Press learned Thursday.
Higashikokubaru, 55, has told his supporters he will run as an independent, sources said. He has started drawing up campaign pledges and may declare his candidacy next week, they said.
The coming Tokyo gubernatorial election follows the sudden resignation of Shintaro Ishihara, 80, who plans to launch a new political party and return to the Diet in the next House of Representatives election.
Ishihara has endorsed Vice Gov. Naoki Inose as his successor.
Higashikokubaru, a comedian-turned-politician, finished second in the previous Tokyo governor race, in 2011.