The campaign for the Dec. 16 gubernatorial election kicks off Thursday in Tokyo, with the focus on whether candidates will carry on the policies of former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara.

As of Tuesday, eight had announced their candidacies, including Tokyo Vice Gov. Naoki Inose, 66; Kenji Utsunomiya, 65, former president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations; former Kanagawa Gov. Shigefumi Matsuzawa, 54; and 77-year-old former science and technology minister Takashi Sasagawa.

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