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LDP looks outside Diet for Tokyo governor hopeful

Kyodo

A senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker indicated Saturday the governing party could field a non-Diet member for Tokyo’s gubernatorial election in February.

“The academic, journalism and other circles must have” a strong candidate to run for the governorship, Katsuei Hirasawa, a member of the House of Representatives who serves as general affairs chief of the LDP’s Tokyo branch, told a television program, without citing specific names.

Hirasawa was negative on fielding former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike, a Lower House LDP lawmaker whose name is being floated as a possible candidate for the post, because that would necessitate a by-election in April.

Among other potential LDP candidates, House of Councilors member Tamayo Marukawa is a viable option because there would be no need to hold an Upper House by-election, Hirasawa said.