• Kyodo

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Takeshi Koba, a baseball commentator and former Hiroshima Carp manager, plans to run in the Hiroshima mayoral election scheduled for Feb. 2.

“After much thinking, I decided I wanted to do everything I could do for the city of Hiroshima, which supported me for a long time,” Koba, 66, who currently resides in Tokyo, said Wednesday.

Koba is expected to declare his candidacy early next month.

A Kumamoto native, Koba joined the Carp as an infielder in 1958 after dropping out of Senshu University in Tokyo. He moved to the Nankai Hawks, now the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks, in 1970, and retired as a player in 1971.

Koba led the Hiroshima Carp to the first Central League championship when he became the team’s manager in 1975 midway through the season.

During his 11 years as Hiroshima manager, Koba led the team to four Central League pennants and three Japan Series titles.

Apart from Koba, former Deputy Hiroshima Mayor Shin Ota, 55, has also said he plans to run in the election.

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, 60, has yet to declare his intentions, but he is widely expected to seek re-election. The Japanese Communist Party and its allies also plan to put up a joint candidate.

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