Vice governor to run in Tokyo gubernatorial election

Kyodo, JIJI

Tokyo Vice Gov. Naoki Inose has decided to run in the Dec. 16 gubernatorial election, sources said Tuesday.

Inose, 65, is planning to formally announce his bid next week, they said.

Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said he wanted Inose, 65, to succeed him when he abruptly announced his resignation last month in order to form a national political party in the run-up to the next general election.

Also on Tuesday, former science and technology policy minister Takashi Sasagawa said he will run for Tokyo governor.

Sasagawa expressed his intention to push forward Ishihara’s initiatives, such as promoting Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and reinforcing the city’s disaster prevention measures.

He was first elected to the Lower House in 1986 from Gunma Prefecture as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. When he lost his seat in 2009 he indicated he might retire from politics.

Shigefumi Matsuzawa, a former Kanagawa governor, and Kenji Utsunomiya, former president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, have already announced their bids.