Tokyo Gov. Inose expected to face tougher crowd in reconfigured assembly

JIJI

Tokyo Gov. Naoki Inose may face a tougher metropolitan assembly now that the Liberal Democratic Party and partner New Komeito are set to become the dominant parties after Sunday’s election.

The two parties, although they backed Inose when he was vice governor in the December gubernatorial election, have recently grown discontent with his political style.

“There is a magma chamber beneath the assembly,” a senior official at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said.

Endorsed by his predecessor, Shintaro Ishihara, now co-leader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), Inose drew a record 4.34 million votes in the election.

With the overwhelming public support, all of the parties except the Japanese Communist Party supported Inose’s metropolitan government budget for the fiscal year ending next March.

However, Inose was jeered in an assembly meeting this month over his surprise plans — revealed during his visit to the United States in April — to begin 24-hour bus services between the Roppongi and Shibuya entertainment districts.

“I have no idea about how 24-hour bus services will work,” a senior LDP official said. The official also cast doubt on Inose’s plan to unify Tokyo’s two subway operators.