• Kyodo

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Hyogo Vice Gov. Toshizo Ido told a news conference Thursday he will run in the gubernatorial race scheduled for next month after the resignation of incumbent Gov. Toshitami Kaihara. “I am convinced that the way to meet the expectations of many citizens is to carry on the (policies) of the Kaihara administration and further develop (his) attempts to make Hyogo Prefecture one that is centered on citizens’ lives,” he said. Ido, 55, resigned as No. 2 man in the prefectural government the same day.

Kaihara effectively anointed Ito to succeed him, telling a ceremony marking Ido’s resignation as vice governor that “I wish (Ido success) in becoming leader of Hyogo Prefecture.”

More than 800 organizations, including business lobbies, have asked Ido to run. All factions of the prefectural assembly’s ruling coalition are expected to support his candidacy, with the Japanese Communist Party the only party unlikely to support Ido.

Kunio Shimono, 57, head of the board of a medical corporation, has already declared his candidacy while Toyoaki Washida, 59, a former professor at the graduate school of Kobe University, is expected to announce his candidacy today. Toyochika Komuro, 59, president of Himeji Dokkyo University, is also considering running, according to sources close to him.

Ido was born in Shingu, Hyogo Prefecture. After serving in the then Home Affairs Ministry, he assumed the post of vice governor in April 1996.

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