Yokohama Mayor Hiroshi Nakada is hoping to use the city, which has a population of some 3.5 million people, as a platform from which to shake up the domestic political scene.
The former House of Representatives member is one of a growing band of politicians who have stepped down from the Diet and later found themselves at the helm of a local government. Others include Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and Mie Gov. Masayasu Kitagawa.