Last Sunday, a week before Tokyo residents go to the polls and choose a new governor, prominent candidates were campaigning hard in Ginza, showcasing their ability to manage a ¥13 trillion annual budget that almost equals Indonesia's national budget.

Former health minister Yoichi Masuzoe was flanked by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi as he courted voters at the famed Ginza 4-chome crossing, followed by former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, who was accompanied by his fellow former prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi.

But it was retired Air Self-Defense Force Gen. Toshio Tamogami who was showered with relentless applause from a much smaller but fervent crowd for his conservative views.